Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Singapore the city of unfair trade

This is just a random one.

I used to do some volunteer work with Fairtrade in Ireland, and today I got an email update on some of their events happening in Dublin.

I did a quick search for Fairtrade in Singapore and the only hits I got were "Trade shows in Singapore", "Singapore Trade Fair" etc.

To be sure there were a hand full of links that actually mentions Fairtrade in Singapore, but there isn't a Fairtrade branch in Singapore. Apparently I'd missed the first Fairtrade Day in Singapore in May this year.

Trade is like the blood that runs through the veins of this city, and the substance that keeps it alive and functioning. Especially in these harsh economic times, people are particularly afraid of losing "blood".

But like our bodies, we always have more than what we need so that we can donate some to those who need it to live. Our own lives are so much the better for it when we do too.

I personally find it such a struggle not to live selfishly in this city. The work life here makes it practically impossible to do volunteer work without feeling like it's costing you that few hours of extra sleep or that few precious hours you could have to yourself to do your own things, read, write, surf - anything to not think about work.

Yes. Singapore is a city of trade, but certainly not fair trade. We have traded our lives quite unfairly in fact, for a stable income, and a strong daily dose of sedatives called "work" to our blighted consciences.

I've had a strong dose today. I will sleep deep, not necessarily well.