We are the Citizens

We write our history with our stories

Inspired by Emile Zola’s Germinal (extract)

I’m at the Edinburgh Book Festival (find out more here https://edbookfest.co.uk ). The amazing street artist Rob Stoakes has been teaching us his trade

Rob’s card

Usually this part of the city is off limits to all but the posh fat cats who live in this relatively expensive area of the city. Credits given as credit are due time for the writing you’ve been waiting for.

For a homeless human words are important, hey for humanity words are important BUT we have to all collectively have the same understanding of each word. So what does the word citizen mean apposed to a person being a consumer.

Citizen relates, or so the dictionaries state, to a person who understands the legal and political structure of society. A citizen is therefore aware of the implications of their actions. A consumer on the other hand just comsumes and as such the term could apply to anything that comsumes like an animal which consumes food or a fire which consumes anything that comes into it’s path. A citizen on the other hand has to be human as understanding requires a cognitive ability that most animals and all fires lack. Thus citizens are intelligent, socially aware and human. Consumers don’t have to have any of these quality and can be extremely destructive if left unchecked bit like a 2 year old.

This workshop has got me thinking, the piece by Emile Zola described a revolution that ended with not change but a different set of fat cat leaders where the citizens, the workers, the REAL risk takers, were just left with the freedom to starve to death. We were then given the challenge of translating the words into a piece of graffiti.

Fat cat noose

As a homeless human I do also consider myself a citizen as communities are built of citizens not consumers. I check my thoughts regularly to ensure I don’t act like a consumer and remain a citizen. The way I think decides how I act. This is basic CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). You can test that this is true yourself next time you have something to drink didn’t you have to think about having a drink first? A wealth of studies have all found that in 100% of cases where humans preform an action they have thought about the action first. The only variable is the length of time between the thought and the action this varies from a millisecond to 40 years.

Thus I will take from this workshop a renewed desire to work hard to change the world from consumer filled into citizen run, checking the way I think regularly on the way.

What will you take from reading this blog?

3 thoughts on “We are the Citizens

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    1. I had a blog a few years back for about a year and a half but gave that up when I went to university. That was over five years ago. This blog I’ve had since March and need to post more regularly. I’m currently between houses again so lifes a bit tricky but I suppose that’s just any excuse for irregular posting. You should try blogging yourself.

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