Originally Published on Elephant Journal Nov 30, 2012
Each one of us can trigger an idealogical shift that topples dominoes in the real world throughout the course of our normal day by making decisions about how we define ourselves and being strict about what we buy.
What’s this cat talking ’bout?
I’m talking about a Christmas season where you buy the change you want to see in the world and shine a spotlight on your values.
We all know that our purchases have a ripple effect throughout the world. If we buy certain cheap goods, we know suppliers are more than likely cutting humanitarian corners, making products in nations whose governments aren’t necessarily resisting the temptation to allow industry the right to rule, countries whose citizens are forced to work in unsafe conditions for a tiny bit of cash to pay for their families’ food.
This can be glossed over, but what it means in reality is that hardworking people end up burning to death in garment factories with no fire escapes in Bangladesh just so we can buy cheap t-shirts.
It’s not always so bad—our purchases can also preserve and strengthen indigenous cultures. Unlike those selling bulk to large chains, coffee farmers working for the top artisan brands are treated like heroes and given freedom to grow the best coffee tree they can on the soil they respect. A freshly roasted bag is a great gift and says a lot.
Each time you buy a present this Christmas, I urge you to inspect the entire lifecycle of the item.
Because it’s up to us to combat the neglect that’s peddled for profit as we pass on our regrets, we could’ve been giving the gift of organic denim, but instead we’re keeping dirty secrets.
I mean, it’s up to you, ultimately, what you wanna do. But a gift with a meaning, from the heart—we all know—means more than any trinket, and don’t doubt it. You can inspire change in someone’s life if you take a minute to think about it. What will light up this person’s eyes?
Take a second to find something that leaves an imprint of love in time
Ed: Lynn H.