In last week's blog, there was an encouragement to not just let the lessons of COVID-19 pass us by but to take time to reflect, to pause and think about how we can look just beyond the “here and now” and see the bigger picture of how our daily choices may have bigger ramifications on the lives of people around us but also overseas.
How did you go with the pause and think exercise?
I know that when I really take time to pause and think, there are definitely some changes that I can make to what I consume and purchase.
Recently, I took some time to clear out my wardrobe working out what “sparked joy” (thanks Marie Kondo) and what needed to be given away. To my surprise and shame, I was left with 7 bags of clothes to give away to charity, some items of clothing that still had their tags on them!
Why had I purchased so many clothes over the years? To be honest, most of what I was giving away were things that I had bought on the cheap – items that had very little thought put into them at the time of purchase. All I was probably thinking about at the time was it might have been fashionable and on sale.
As I’ve slowly began to put more intentionality into how I live, I have begun to think beyond just the price tags of clothes or products, rather where are these products being made, who was making them and how were they being made.
How did this desire to be more intentional grow?
The next step after pausing and thinking is to educate yourself.
In my search to find out more about what I was purchasing or consuming, I came across things that I could not “un-see” such as the dire state of garment factory workers.
According to The Guardian , the legal minimum wage for a garment worker in Bangladesh (the place where a lot of the cheap t-shirts I used to love and buy) was only recently raised to 10,700 taka = $192.56 per month. This is not enough to sustain a worker and their family for a month which then leads workers to work longer hours to be able to just survive.
Further research reveals that due to the low wages, some people (usually women) will be lured into “get rich quick” schemes that then plunge them into the world of sex trafficking as traffickers would often prey on the desperate and disenfranchised.
When you take the time to not just get swept up by what culture tells you to buy into but make an intentional choice to pause, think and educate yourself, you can make better decisions which has the ripple effect of making this world a better place.
Here are some good resources to start the education process:
Next Monday, we’ll share a blog post from Heather who goes into a bit more around the buzz word of “sustainability” before we move further along our journey together.
I look forward to you joining us then...