“TRUTH” and what it means to me and for Unogwaja

By November 25, 2014My Blog

I always believed that this journey would “take good care of itself” if I stayed the course and upheld principles and values and the genuine belief in the path I was walking above all else, and never succumbing to “short wins” for that is all that they will be.

A by-product of this would be more value than you can ever imagine (I don’t think there is any greater value than integrity and the visible and real impact of your actions, but I am also talking commercial value too.  A genuine commitment to what is right is something that money can’t buy and is sure to be truly valuable). Also, I believe, the right example for others to follow suit that can somehow create a wave of change across the world.

I think there was a reason I found myself in Truth Coffee today and finally started to put my thoughts down on paper. Over the last few weeks and months, I have been presented with many opportunities to really reflect and ask myself some pretty important questions, and face some meaningful crossroads.

“Truth” happen to sell coffee but what they stand for is “Challenging the constant tide of mediocrity. We don’t believe in hiding behind the hype, hoopla and certification of sustainability, organic or fair trade. We believe that you are either part of the solution or part of the problem. We need to make a real world difference” Do things right, don’t take short wins and the rest will look after itself, with a vengeance. (BBC Business recently interviewed David Donde, Truth creator about his Cape Town coffee operation.)

However, this also made me think of the “independent” anti-corruption ruling given by and for FIFA, or the “Let’s Move” (fight obesity/ diabetes) campaign driven by First Lady Michelle Obama that was making big Food brands feel very uncomfortable about its findings only for them to “endorse” the campaign, hence controlling the output and creating a “truth” that protected their profits and showing their “care” and “commitment” to the fight despite being a fundamental cause of the problem in the first place and knowing the harmful effect their business is having on millions of people worldwide.

This is the truth according to who has the most money.

It is reported that even World Health Organisation interventions about the harm that too much sugar is causing have been “adjusted” by similar means. One can of Coca-Cola contains more sugar than the “recommended maximum daily intake” let alone that just about every other (processed) food we consume contains added sugar. There are many studies to suggest that sugar is as addictive as cocaine! Why are there no warnings on a can of coke or other high sugar content products??

Profit over health. Epic short win.

Everywhere I turn, I see “short wins” being taken. I picked up the paper the other day and read an article by Lewis Pugh about the state of our oceans and how if we don’t do something now, we (fishing industry) will destroy ocean life in our CURRENT lifetime. It’s not even going to be someone else’s problem anymore. It is our problem!

More profit. No more fish. Monumental short win.

I didn’t realize how dire the situation is. Short wins (or commercial/ self gain over anything else) are destroying us and soon there will be nothing left.

This sums it up pretty well.

In the same way that Lance Armstrong justified taking performance enhancing drugs for so long, there is very little people won’t do these days for money! And can you blame him or anyone for doing this? If everyone is doing it, why shouldn’t he? If not, he will be left behind. He will lose. In today’s society no one cares about losers, and no one also seems to care about how they win either. As long as they win. This is a short win.

The fact is. WE ARE ALL LOSING if we accept this as the norm and don’t change our actions.

But I recognise it is not as straight forward as that. I mean without the investment from the big food brands “Let’s Move” may not be able to operate at all, and even if it’s not the full force that Michelle Obama wishes for, it is still a whole lot better than nothing at all, so we accept this reality.

The Unogwaja Challenge faces this same dilemma.

Is giving up part of its “vision” and focus on “impact” and what’s right above everything else in order to accommodate “corporate needs” better than not existing at all? Or is this just another short win?

I recognize the need for genuine financial stability.  I can’t go on without it. I have lived in a “dream world” for too long and relied on my father’s support for too long.

I believe the right partner (person/ brand) will invest in this journey, will invest in what it stands for, will invest in me, will invest in the actual impact it makes in our country, and will invest in no “short wins” and see the incredible value this represents.

“Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead)

After all, The Unogwaja Challenge exists because of people who do not take the “short win” but are prepared to take the road less travelled, do what is right and do not give up on this even when the odds are stacked against them.

John

Bodhi

About Bodhi

In conventional speak, John McInroy is a South-African born social activist, humanitarian, social entrepreneur, ultra endurance athlete, international field hockey player, actor and vegan yogi. In more authentic terms, Bodhi is a human you may see walking the streets barefoot trying to find new ways to tread as lightly as possible.

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