Commercializing World Peace?

I work at a bar, have for years, and as such am privy to many an array of topics of conversation. Earlier this week, while clearing a table, I graciously asked my guests whether I could do anything else for them. In turn they *humourously* replied ‘A winning lotto ticket, the answer to world peace…’

Side note, as all servers will know this is not necessarily an original response, but we all  no doubt find ourselves feigning amusement as a shallow laugh echoes from our core. That being said I do find myself thinking I am quite comical in my shopworn responses to servers/bartenders when I am out, so who am I to judge?

Normally the conversation would end following my fake amusement. But due to the work that we are engaged in with Local Buttons-striving to create ethics in consumer behaviour, promote alternative purchase markets, and make readily available sustainable and ethical products i.e. Pép-I decided to engage in the topic of offering solutions to world peace. The man in question informed me he wished to figure out world peace, monotize and commercialize the process and thus make a huge profit, securing himself as ruler for a period in time. I was intrigued as I found this notion slightly counterintuitive as one cannot sincerely hope for world peace if one wishes to capitalize off it, as if world peace can be created into some marketable good.

And I realized it. This is where the world is at. Yes he was being facetious, but to think in such a way is pretty indicating of where society sits-especially at a Bay and Front St location in Toronto. Has it honestly become such a consuming culture in the depths of downtown Toronto that we can really think of gaining from something that should exist?

This is especially indicative in our current global political situation as we are witnessing, from afar, civil uprisings across the Middle East and Northern Africa. Crazed rulers who have, for years, successfully held their populations down, are now being resisted. The engagement from the international community, seems to be taking the same path of strategic intervention-when it best serves the country in question. Right there, commercializing peace. I cannot imagine how it must feel to stand up and fight for freedom asI have had the luxury not only to be born in this fine country of ours, but to a family where stability and love was a constant. How can I even begin to understand what those on other side of the world are experiencing, I can not even honestly comprehend some of the dire situations in which many right here, in my backyard so to speak, face.

To return to the patron in question, and his desire to secure world peace for financial gain, the only advice I had for him was respect. The solution, I don’t believe, is a mystery. If we could all respect one another, the earth and our surroundings the world would be a much happier place. There. World peace figured out. You’re welcome. You can send donations to my personal account:) Or scratch that, just purchase a Pép vest once they’re available!

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