"Make good choices, please." This is a phrase commonly heard at our house. We use it to encourage Caspian when he is trying to make a choice to touch or not to touch something he shouldn't. Or to come or not come when he is called by Daddy or Mommy. We also use it to encourage Koa to treat his little brother with kindness and respect.
One conversation we have had with Koa a lot lately (because of Caspian running around) is about our responsibility as God's followers to look out for those who are smaller than us or who, for whatever reason, cannot stick up for themselves. It is our responsibility to take care of those who can't take care of themselves. What a great lesson to be teaching and learning together! After all, this is the ministry God has called us to and has been teaching us more about these past months. And, really, isn't this the ministry He has called us all to?
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" - Matthew 25:37-40
Any of you who know me at all, know that I am not really all that interested in talking politics. However, I have to admit that in many instances I am either part of the solution or part of the problem. For instance, I cast a vote for something with every dollar I spend. I think we can all agree that children should not have to suffer abuse! This video does a good job of pointing out our responsibility in preventing certain abuse.
If you search "chocolate slavery" on You Tube you will find 222 videos on the topic. A few years ago coffee was the buzz in fair trade and lately it's chocolate. The fact is, sugar, cotton, mica (mined for make up) and many others are all items that are farmed or mined with the use of slave labor. Child slave labor. That is just the raw material. Then you have the issue of sweat shops for sewing and assembly, and poor treatment and health care options for employees at retail. There are a plethora of ways for people to be exploited in order for us to have more stuff at a cheap price.
So you ask, "Kathy, what is your point? You want me to stop eating chocolate, drinking coffee, buying cotton and wearing make-up?" By all means, no! (Well, maybe on the make-up.) Eat up! Drink up! Get yourself some undies! Just make an effort to make good choices. Don't boycott because it punishes the fair with the unfair. Buy things that are hand made from places like Etsy. Buy resale from local Craigslist listings, donation centers, and consignment shops. Support your local farms and artisans. Buy coffee and chocolate, but look for the fair trade (or direct trade) symbol. If you're not sure where something came from or whether it was ethically made, ask or do some research! Will you pay more? Probably. Will you have to buy less? Maybe. Will there be a greater reward for it? Certainly.
So, tell us, what are you doing this holiday season to stand up for people who can't stand up for themselves?