There’s something very awkward about bringing up modern day slavery and human trafficking in regular conversation. Have you ever tried? Has someone ever brought it up with you? I want this to be something that I non-judgmentally bring up in normal conversation, but I always struggle with it and I feel like I say the wrong thing.
Here’s an example: Someone pulls out a chocolate bar and I politely pass, saying that I like to support fair-trade companies. After asking me why (if that even happens), I share about children being kidnapped and forced to work to produce the cheap chocolate that we find in every store. Nobody likes slavery. Nobody wants to support it! But, it comes down to cost. And perhaps, convenience.
This is where we inevitably butt heads. For me, no cost is too high! I will NOT support non fair-trade chocolate companies. This means I buy certain chocolate chips, cocoa, chocolate bars, etc and I make our own cookies, hot cocoa, and ice-cream. When I have people over, I don’t buy cheap chocolate and serve dessert with that cheaper chocolate: I use the more expensive fair-trade chocolate, and if they comment on the taste, I tell them about why I use it and where I bought it so they can find it for themselves.
I think one of the best ways to talk about injustice with friends, family and co-workers is to find ways in your every day life to show how it’s possible to make a difference.
What have you learned recently or what practice have you initiated into your life that you can naturally tell others about?
- Are you asking the Starbucks barista to french press the fair-trade coffee option?
- Have you learned to sew and/or mend your own clothes so that you don’t supporrt sweat-shops?
- Are you minimilizing your holiday puchases and instead buying a piece of jewelry or scarf that support sustainable business? (See: FashionABLE)
Think about the community you have been placed in and how you can use your platform (as small or large as it may be!) to share with others what are learning about modern injustices.
(This post inspired by the book A Year of Pies by Ashley English, who when talking about ingredients she uses to bake pies, included a paragraph about fair-trade chocolate. Thanks for being an inspiration, Ashley!)