We Didn’t End Slavery in America, We Just Exported it

August8

The concept of paying it forward is not a new one.  I also believe that it is a concept that comes with local and sustainable living.

When goods and services are coming from far away, you don’t always meet the personalities involved, and no matter how “individual” a big company claims to treat you, it just is not the same as being serviced by a mom and pop shop.  I am not trying to be cynnical, but the cashier at Mcdonals or Macys doesn’t know your name unless you are a devoted regular.  Sure, getting things locally from a mom and pop shop may be more expensive, but maybe that is the way it was meant to be.  If someone is growing food on their local farm or spinning yarn for me to knit with, they should be paid for their services and their effort.  After all, that person selling me something is only looking to make a living themselves, just as we are.  I appreciate that these people are not working on massive scales purely driven by money.  It costs more to produce less in this world.  Consider the next time you have a chance to buy yarn from a local spinner rather than at Walmart what it is that you are supporting.

I got a very powerful message the other day from listening to the radio.  The host was talking about the production of goods in China.  China makes EVERYTHING, and he was talking about people who boycott goods from China.  I wouldn’t last 24 hours without something from China.  The biggest culprit is the little snaps that I put on diapers.  The machine I have that puts them on comes from China as does the snap parts. There is no other local source, so if I want to put on snaps (which I do), that is one thing I have to support.  Look around you and you can see what a devastation it would be if China were not making all of our goods.

The host of the radio show mentioned some of the horrible conditions that factory workers were going through so that I could have my plastic snap habit.  He said one powerful thing that I am going to try to work into my life.

“We didn’t end slavery in America, We Just Exported it.”

I think it carries with it a powerful message, one I’ve really thought about and pondered since.  It is so easy for me to just truck off to Walmart to get the latest thing I think I need so that I can save a few bucks or not have to be crafty with what I have.  At one point I was trying to be really great about what I have and what I think I need to run off and buy.  I think that I have made great strides on this point, but I’d like to make more.

It kind of like the treat people the way you want to be treated principle.  I am NOT going to support the human rights violations set forth by China to bring cheap plastic goods to the rest of the world while poisoning the enviornment.

Please see to it that you help me in this endeavour.

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