Using Our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope

Although I am not a religious person, I am very familiar with the biblical texts from growing up in a religious household. I really appreciated the Global Outreach speaker in class and the distinction that she made between spirituality and religiousness. The thing that really stuck me on the disposable people website was the core beliefs, particularly the first one. “We believe in freedom for all individuals regardless of race, religion, gender, or age.” It is 2013. Isn’t this a fundamental belief that should be held by everyone at this point? Why are there so many people who don’t believe that everyone should have access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

I think that the reading- Using Our Purchasing Power for Justice and Hope was very valuable to me even though I’m not religious. Many of the teachings of the bible, especially the quotes used in the reading are very valuable in teaching commonly held morals throughout the world. The one quote I could not get out of my head during class or the reading is "Give a man a fish, and you have fed him once. Teach him how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.” I really appreciated the quote that Fair trade is not about charity. It is a holistic approach to trade and development that aims to alter the ways in which commerce is conducted, so that trade can empower the poorest of the poor." I think the two quotes have a similar idea. It’s all well and good to give people money, but it is much more rewarding emotionally and it is much more long lasting to give people the opportunity to make their own living.

One of my favorite things that my professor, Kate said in class was that she believed in transparency. Having transparency in a company is so important for the consumer’s trust that the price they are paying is going to the right things. Unfortunately, we have gotten used to a lack of transparency in everything we buy (including our college tuition!) I think that with the growing popularity of fair trade, the public will be more likely to turn to larger corporations and ask them what they’re up to and demand some transparency. Both of these readings really stood out to me to start questioning where I am getting my goods from and who is being affected by it. I am extremely thankful to be able to be in a Fair Trade class because if I was reading this at home I’d be moved and upset, but I wouldn’t know what to do about it. By educating ourselves on the statistics and being real about the amount of injustice surrounding the goods that we buy, we can educate others and I hope in this class we’ll be able to provide consumers with alternative goods and support the people who work hard to make them fairly.

« Blog Post Numero Uno: Using our Purchasing Power/Disposable PeoplePurchasing Power and Disposable People »

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