Gregory Porter: If I Ruled The World

Marco Marcelline 28 January 2022

The prolific American jazz singer and songwriter shares the kind of world he would rule. Spoiler: it includes sweets that are good for you

Everybody would get free healthcare. I remember when I didn’t have good health care. I was quite young, just out of college, and I was trying to figure out where I could go to get dental work, or to check on some stomach-ache.

In some ways, going to a waiting room and waiting eight to ten hours to try and fix some ailment seems wrong. You see many people walking around with curable ailments and it just seems wrong. 

I think people should have the right, at the very least, to the best health they could possibly have. You should be able to live without pain if it’s curable.

Gregory Porter 

I’d eliminate single-use plastic. 

We have to find a way because we can’t destroy the planet. We must have clean air, and we must stop making plastic for everything that we consume. Everything that we consume is one-use plastic.

We have to do something, as once this beast [plastic] is created, it’s hard to slay. We keep hearing about these microplastics that are part of us, in our heart, in our bloodstream, in the oceans, in the fish we eat. Not acting at all is a terrible route to go down. 

I would implement financial incentives for kindness.

Wouldn’t it be nice if people could just be nice to each other all the time?

If people had a personal incentive to be nice to other people, whether it’s allowing somebody to go before you in a car, opening the door [for someone] or just generally slowing down; if everybody could agree on being agreeable, the traffic would flow better, we could walk on the streets with more ease. 

It seems that a financial incentive for kindness would actually be a boon for the economy because maybe there would be less traffic, fewer lawsuits, and we’d have less money spent on incarceration. 

Gender equality would be a reality.

My mother was a preacher and in church there’s always a hierarchy of what women can do. She was a better and more relatable speaker than the headliners, but because she was a woman she could never be a headliner.

This and a million other things make me strive for gender equality. Men can be so self-important, but we’re all here through the grace of a woman. 

Childcare should be valued more—as should the work of a woman and the gifts of a woman.

The characteristics that are attributed to women, such as reasoning, grace, and compromise, are the things that we need in business—and they are the things we need to heal the planet.  

Greater appreciation of the characteristics that we attribute to women, whether they’re expressed by a man or a woman, is important. 

"Greater appreciation of the characteristics that we attribute to women, whether they’re expressed by a man or a woman, is important"

I would require that scientists concentrate on making bad things good for you.

That way we could eat all the ice cream, biscuits, cakes, and popcorn in the world. Why must everything that tastes so good be so bad for you? Can somebody think about that for a moment please? 

I’m all here for the fake meat thing, but somebody needs to concentrate on making that fake meat tastier. And can somebody make a fake sugar that tastes like sugar but doesn’t rot your liver or kidneys? That’s all I ask. 

Gregory Porter's latest album Still Rising was released in November 2021 and he tours the UK in May 2022

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