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Brainstorming: the seed for concrete actions

Last week, I spoke with a man working in the cardboard recycling business in downtown Santiago. He was writing in a notebook and working with a calculator, so I joked with him, “You’re studying math so late?” He smiled and told me that he only went to school up to third grade but with that he could deal with the day to day numbers. I told him that that was the important thing.

We talked about his business, about how the recycling process worked and I asked him if he needed specific tools to grow his business or if he wanted to. He said he was ok but something that bothered him was that every timed they (as in “cartoneros” or people in the cardboard business) had an idea, the municipality wanted to use it to make a profit for themselves. He didn’t like that.

We talked about money, about economical systems — he told me the story of the Rockefellers and how this current system works, using them as slaves (I was surprised at the amount of information he knew and his perspective). We talked about education and labour. I told him that I was interested in his ideas, and if he had ideas he should tell me. Perhaps we could do something together.

And we agreed on that. He would remember his ideas so that the next time we met we could discuss them. Because maybe we can do something. 

It was such a great honor to meet different people living different realities, but what is even more beautiful is to let go voluntarily and consciously of the labels and privileges we may have, so that we can all do things together.