Recent events in the Czech Republic, where I spent some time in the 1990s, have changed how I see the holidays this year.
Havel had a gift of making lofty and seemingly difficult challenges appear simple and straightforward. He did this by appealing to our sense of decency. For example, a lone shop keeper can stand up to an entire regime he does not agree with by simply making the choice to not post a sign in his store.
I think Havel managed to make change possible because he would bring an idea down to its most basic level—big change on a small scale.
He simply asked us to live in truth.
When I think about our situation in the West regarding our mainstream food system, and its complicated relationship with industry and politics, which somehow pits yield and profit against quality, I am tempted to just bring it all down to its most basic level.
We can exercise our plea for accessible, decent, healthy food through the little choices we make every day.
We can stand up against the plethora of “edible food-like substances” that line our grocery store shelves and fill our world with advertising by simply making the choice to not buy them.
Could it be that simple?