SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
09
October
2013

Blog Post #5

Quote 1: Religious Values and Corporate Decision Making: The Economy of Communion Project” by Luigino Bruni
"Over the years, what emerged from their lifestyle was not only a more equal distribution of goods, but also a profound cultural intuition- that the essence of human experience is to be "in communion.""

Response to Quote 1:
I really liked this quote because it describes fair trade perfectly, especially considering the "spirituality" portion of our class. Communion is of course a sacrament, but also something that is an inherent need in all of us. The need to be in communion with one another is something that everyone strives for, and is the basis of many advertisements. However, they call to our emotional need to belong by making us feel insecure. "We are not pretty enough, skinny enough, stylish enough to fit into society without product X." From a business standpoint, looking at fair trade as a sense of community appeals to that emotion without the negative qualities. It really is a "sellable" idea from a marketing standpoint. Bruni also is able to appeal to the spirituality portion with this phrase as well, which I think is a major intention because there are some bible quotes in the text, which I don't respond to as much as the appeal to the business and making money side.

Quote 2: "Those who receive help are not considered "assisted" or "beneficiaries". Rather they are regarded as active participants in the project, all part of the same community, who also live the culture of giving. The emphasis is not on philanthropy, but on sharing, in that each person gives with equal dignity."

Response to Quote 2:
Isn't this the core belief of fair trade? "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime." Sometimes I get frustrated with fair trade because I feel like a lot of it is making consumers feel guilted into buying something just because it is "fair trade." But fair trade shouldn't be just about that it should be able making a product that is genuinely better than the competitors whether that's because it is more sturdy or beautiful or whatever. Fair trade should be (and I think is for the most part) about giving people in impoverished nations a chance to sell something great and be credited for it. It's an opportunity, and not everyone can be (or should be!) able to succeed if they aren't willing to work hard. They should be able to work as equals with everyone involved in the process. I think that being able to have a sense that they had to do something to get what they have makes everyone exponentially more excited to grow and prosper a business and get others involved as well.



« Blog # 5: Economy of Communion ProjectBlog post for 10/15/13: What Makes Us Happy + Bangladesh Fire »


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