SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
10
September
2013

Blog #1: In-Class Video and "Using our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope"

1. The first aspect of class that impacted me was the video of Christina making the sweater. I have always wondered exactly what goes into the process of producing clothing. Seeing the actual machinery and technique that was used was very impressive. I did not realize how painstakingly meticulous each worker has to be with each thread of the sweater. It is definitely an art that is not appreciated by people who buy clothing with only the price and brand name in mind, rather than where the clothing actually came from.

2. The second aspect of class that impacted me came from the article. "Fair trade encourages artisans to work together rather than compete with one another." This is interesting because it is the polar opposite of what goes on in America. What drives the American financial industry? Competition. People and products are in a daily competition against one another with the sole goal of attracting the most customers and gaining the most profit. There is no other consideration in the process of producing products than the bottom line.

Actual Responses

1. Living in a first-world country inhibits our ability to experience how the less fortunate people of the world make a living. When I was able to see Christina making the sweater, it opened my eyes to how hard someone has to work for such little money. It made me think of corporate America and how people are paid huge sums of money to attend meetings and create spreadsheets on Microsoft Excel. However, Christina has to use her hands and feet all day, exhausting herself physically to be able to provide for her and her family. The physical toll Christina's body will take will sadly never be known by corporate America. We should take more time to step aside from our hectic lifestyles and realize just how fortunate we are.

2. "Fair trade encourages artisans to work together rather than compete with one another." This sentence sums up why I believe America has a decreasing quality of life. Having worked in New York City this year, I saw firsthand what actually occurs. People hustle across busy intersections like electron dots. The chance that someone on the street will stop and say "Hello" is realistically impossible today. We are so consumed with ourselves and the profit we make. After a while, we start to lose sleep over the amount of money in our bank account. We work alone and compete against friends in our office just so we can get the promotion instead of them. This process makes me exhausted. I believe Fair Trade can improve the quality of life. Working together to achieve a common goal allows there to be more of an opportunity for human interaction versus the isolation that occurs in America. I think America is in need of a dose of this mentality so that we can all improve our quality of life and decrease the incessant stress that occurs in the business world.



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