SPIRITUALITY, FAIR TRADE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

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  • Blog Post #?.... The Jewelry One.DateWed Nov 20, 2013 4:10 am
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: "There is no hope of immortality through riches"

    Response: This is a statement that I can truly stand by. People are so wound ip about making money in this world when we should be making a memory of ourselves. Sure, money can open up multiple paths to make us immortal, however when it comes down to it immortality takes action. To become immortal whether it be good or bad, one has to act. One has to change the world. And changing the world takes on thing and that is conviction, not money. Only through conviction and belief can anyone become immortal. I mean just look at me. I want to make money to provide a comfy life for my family, and yet I haven't made a single step forward towards making me immortal. My dad and I both want to be immortalized someday and hopefully we can accomplish this before our time runs out.

    Text 2: "Can a man be king by saying, 'I am king,' without destroying his enemies, without gaining power over the whole land?"

    Response: Yes, a king is only a title and once people learn that being ones best is already enough than everyone can become a king. I believe that a king can be called a king without decimating all of his enemies and gaining power over all the land. Real kings, men and women who are appointed leadership should before anything else always take care if their followers. It isn't about conquering or gaining power, it is about taking care of the people that you have been tasked to protect. It is about serving the people who believe in you, It is about fairness, that is what being a king is meant to mean.

  • 11/12/13 BLOG POST:DateWed Nov 13, 2013 4:11 am
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text #1: "5 loaves, two fish, 5000 people fed, no denarii changing hands, no government contracts, no fund-raising, no earned revenue"

    Response: Only in a perfect world, and only to meet everyone's minimal need. In the situation, this miracle, is only to feed people. We don't take into account personal gain or greed. In an imperfect world like ours, people want more, It always seems as if people just won't stop wanting more. The more we gain the easier it becomes to consider that wealth as common, we can't take being complacent, therefore we try to achieve more. If people actually cared about the community as a whole two may be possible, yet he like in a world where our opportunities are limited so were programmed by the environment and our parents to always achieve more. Achievement is almost biological. Overall we need to fix the system before we can move forward.

    Text #2: "I found myself saying two things. One, there aare enough resources in Boston to solve Boston's problems. Two, if we all got to know each other, this would be a different city."

    Response: I wish this was possible. Although i support personal gain, I also support building community and using the resources we have to better the community. Although i believe this, just because we have "enough" resources doesn't mean we can solve all of our problems. That's almost like saying if a person has a bow, arrow, and target that they will get a bullseye. You have to curb the idea of the people in Boston to solve the problems. We tend to make complex problems into basic mathematical problems when they aren't. If we can't accept that, and continue viewing the world through censored lenses then we will never change anything.

  • Blog Post 7:DateTue Oct 22, 2013 11:09 pm
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: "If you don't buy or own a lot of stuff, you don't have value." This quote stuck out to me because of how true it is in modern day.

    Response: It is really sad to think that the world has become a place where anything of value has a price tag on it. It is really sad to think that so many people put faith in material things instead of their families or friends. I think in this day and age to many people forget about the more important things in life. We are too focus on our plans, our silly little plans, where we try to run our lives and the lives of people around us. Just take a step back and look at how integrated your life has become with money. Without it we can barely do anything, and yet with it we also can barely do anything. It is sad to thing that value has become so synonymous to wealth in this day and age. I personally love wealth, and the benefits that come with it. However, i do not believe that wealth is in anyway equal to value. Value is something completely and utterly different. Value is the importance of something to someone. Something of value is something that has ties with you. Something that is worth fighting, and dying for. Something that is worth all your time and effort. And sure this could be money, but it is also a whole lot of other things.

    Text 2: “6 months after their date of sale only 1% of products are still in use… 99% of materials are trashed within 6 months.” This quote was not surprising at all, and it made me reflect on my own actions.

    Response: Barely surprising, but realizing that you see these qualities in yourself is the real value of this quote. After looking at this quote in depth i realized how much of a wasteful person i am. I throw away good food, decent clothing, and a plethora of other things just because i know i have the money to get me more things. That is utterly disgusting. How can i throw away perfectly good food when other people around the globe are starving. Ignorance. I mean ignorance is bliss right? However, it is blatantly scary how easily it is to forget about the world around you when you are living in your own tiny little bubble. This statistic is saddening and even worse when you realize you waste just as much perfectly good resources as well.

  • Blog Post 6: Dollars, Sense, and DignityDateTue Oct 15, 2013 11:07 pm
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: One quote that thoroughly stuck out to me was, "The public also mistrusts corporate America.The good news about this has been an increased motivation on the part of corporations to engage with social service organizations..."

    Response: This quote stuck out to me because, in a way it shows a change in human behavior. I mean corporate America has always had a bad name. Bad people making tons of money, while disregarding the lives of those who are "below" them. And the crazy thing is that I have always wanted to work in corporate America because I love business. However, this bad reputation has led to many bad connotations towards business students as well as people who aspire to work at an accounting firm, or for a fortune 500 company. Anyways it is great to see a change in ideas and values and that companies are waging a war against this bad reputation that has been placed on big business since the oil barons. Since then the business world has evolved greatly and has grown globally as well. It is amazing to see companies like Google and Apple, not only treat their companies well, but move forward and try to create an industry where people can be treated fairly.

    Text 2: "Living in an orphanage taught me to identify with those less fortunate with their plight and needs." This really stood out to me. I mean was raised in an exceptionally wealthy family, and although that was my upbringing i never once believed that i was better than someone who was homeless, or less fortunate than me.

    Response: Like i said, i have never been a person who believes I am better than anyone else. I am lucky to have been born in the family i was born into, and It is amazing to say that i have this wealth to help me out in life. But that doesn't mean i am above people who are less fortunate, just because i came from a prominent family does not mean i don't see the lives of the less fortunate. I think in this modern world, too many people believe that where you are born defines you. Sure our experiences mold who we are, but by saying were we are born defines us, is an obvious misconception. I can completely understand how growing up in an orphanage can completely change your ideal on life, but just because i have not been in that situation does not mean i am any less aware of the situations less fortunate people are in. No matter what situations arise in your life, just be fair, be honest, and be just. That's all anyone can do to be an outstanding person who can care for people, whether they be less fortunate, or more fortunate than you.

  • Blog Post Go (5): Bruni and UelmanDateTue Oct 08, 2013 10:50 pm
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: One of the most salient points that stuck out to me was the quote "The businesses foster communion with employees by paying particular attention to their health, well-being, and development."

    Response: This is an amazing statement. I mean just look at a lot of the companies around the world today. A plethora of them do not care for their employees at all. Especially companies that have mechanized their production of intermediate goods. This just means that employees are easily replaceable and new ones can be hired almost immediately. Some companies have even been known to smuggle illegal immigrants into the US just so they can have cheap labor. It's pretty disgusting and is extremely degrading as well as life threatening because the working condition of some of these companies are dreadful. I believe that more companies should try to be like Google, where facilities and employees are cared for. Just look at Google's exponential growth and how it is a global business giant. Although it isn't just simple tasks, the way Google treats its employees is amazing. They have free meals, cars they can use, and much more. If more companies followed this example the world would truly be a better place.

    Text 2: “A manager was ready to fire an employee until one of the chemists suggested that he should first listen to the employee with greater attention." This quote also struck me because I plan to go into the management field and it was surprising to see how some people actually react within companies.

    Response: Although I expected a lot of managers to act this way, i never would have expected that people can be so ignorant to do such things. I guess I've been privileged enough to live a life where ignorance has not really been a problem for me. Besides that point i believe management is all about your underlings. A lot of managers believe that they are in a seat of power, but that is completely wrong in my book. A manager is a shepherd, there to guide and help his underlings become successful while completing the goal tasked to the manager by his higher ups. Furthermore, i believe management should never be clouded by power because the only thing that can cause is problems for both the manager and the underlings.

  • Blog Post 4: Documentary.DateTue Oct 01, 2013 11:08 pm
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: "The only way is for you to organize and together demand your entitlements, your stolen rights." This quote vibrantly stuck out to me because I am a big supporter of personal motivation.

    Response: After watching this documentary, I would have to say i learned a lot of things. I saw some things that i realized was happening around the world and yet still i was shocked. Being a privileged college student I am aware of social injustice around the world and yet I have yet to honestly witness it with my own eyes. I may get to see documentaries or hear about it on the news, but I do not witness the horrors that these people have to face on a day to day basis which truly breaks my heart. Anyways to respond to this quote, I think it is a beautifully written phrase. Simple and yet so powerful because at the core of humanity, people should be equal. How can anyone live in a world where their own rights, their own privileges have been stolen away from them. I am a firm believer of people rallying together under one common goal to oppose injustice. And although i know it is not such a simple task, I believe that with enough motivation, heart, and education, anyone can change social norms. Anyone can overthrow a malicious government, anyone can save lives.

    Text 2: Another salient point throughout the documentary that was horrific was the idea that the government would kill innocent people.

    Response: I have studied malicious government regimes almost all my life, and still to this day It horrifies me. How can government, a sacred body of power, be so rotten to its core to allow the killing of innocent people. People who only want to better their lives as well as the lives of their children. How can a government suppress and execute members of society just for wanting to speak out? How can a government so easily deny someones basic human rights? How can someone take a beautiful thing like government and horribly mutilate it into something so despicable that it can barely be called a government? Overall, this documentary only helped me realize once more that when people are seated with power, all they do is use it to better themselves. While the people who are worth something in this world can barely do anything except slowly but surely bring equality to the world like Monsenor Oscar Romero.

  • Blog Post Drie: 9/24/13DateWed Sep 25, 2013 3:31 am
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: Today there are websites like theperfecttoast.com that practically wuss a wedding toast for you. All you have to do is fill in a questionnaire about how the bride and groom meet and other details about their lives and how you would describe them. After this sort prices that really requires no work and paying 149 dollars you well receive a 4 minutes long toast in the mail.

    Response: For me marriage is quite an important thing. Yes I've been raised a Catholic, and no I don't believe marriage to be a sacred thing, however I still believe marriage to be a very important thing. I mean my parents got divorced when I was in middle school and there I'd a part of me that will never forgive them for it. Sure they're happier now, but the ain't of pain that was caused by it was absurd. Anyways I just thought it was ridiculous. I mean a toast should be something from the heart. It's a toast for someone's wedding for crying out loud. Does our society know no bounds that we have to pay people to do personal tasks that require a little bit of heart and a little bit of effort. That's just sad and disappointing.

    Text 2: The second article that interested me was the article on prostitution. The author talks about fairness and corruption in the business of prostitution. The author goes on to talk about how prostitution is demeaning and degrading.

    Response: Personally I don't think prostitution is demeaning, I think it is a noble and old profession, and before anyone goes off on my let me explain. I mean in this day and age I can completely understand why people can connote prostitution to demeaning and degrading. However I think that is a social construct that is derived from the social constructed idea of sex and drugs. I believe the mixing of the vicious cycles of addiction and prostitution gives prostitution a bad reputation. I mean a prostitute who isn't in the vicious cycle of addiction, all she is doing is providing pleasure, what's so wrong with that? Think of that compared to people who commit real crimes. Honestly society needs to reflect on how it judges people and there actions.

  • Blog Post Ni: FTRN Booklet & Arithmetic of PassionDateTue Sep 17, 2013 10:11 am
    Blog post by anguyen16

    Text 1: "The retail price of roasted coffee dropped only 15% from 1999 to 2003, while prices paid to farmers fell by about 50%"
    "A wage of $1 [per day], common in factories producing for U.S. corporations, provides less than 25% of the minimum needs of a family of five".

    Text 1 Response: Although this article was thoroughly interesting, i think the second page although not particularly shocking was quite interesting. I've never actually seen the statistics and although it was not surprising just hearing how much the producers of the raw products of factories are paid was just heart breaking. I mean the face that 20% of the worlds richest people consume 75% of the world resources and that 20% of the worlds poorest people consume only 1.5% is ridiculous. Furthermore the face that more than one billion people live on less than one dollar a day with a lack of clean water, health care, education, and other basic social services is crazy. I mean being raised in a predominantly well off family was a complete blessing for me and being able to live in the U.S. and have enough money to have a great education is incredible, and it is just wretched to hear how so many people are living in such a dire situation. Just hearing the numbers makes me shudder, and yet for a while i have known that the world outside the bubble of wealthy society is quite a desolate place.

    Text 2: "Ever since i was a child, I have been searching for a certain number: namely, the figure for the annual Gross World Product (GWP)... I was searching for this numbeer... [because] I wanted to take it and divide it by the number of people in the world, so that i would know what each human being was actually entitled to if the world's resources were divided fairly equitably".

    Text 2 Response: This article struck me pretty hard. Throughout high school economics has been my best and my favorite subject and this article being strongly emphasized on economics and mathematics really spoke to me. David Ulansey's first paragraph was just so inspirational, and although i can agree that a world that is completely equal in terms of world resources would be great i don't think it will ever be possible. Ulansey's approach to solving this problem although just theoretical is too simple of an answer to a problem that is so complicated and intricate. Even though half the world lives on a yearly budget of $900 and ethically it sounds right, the possibilities of limiting everyone's budget to 6,000 dollars a year is nil. Furthermore, even if this happened in a way we would have to become a utopian society. A society where each nation is in complete and utter compliance with each other, and where everything is set to a price where 6,000 dollars is enough to afford the lifestyles of everyone across the world. There is just no way this is possible and although it may make me sound like a terrible person i don't think that by creating a perfect world we will solve the world's problems. Perfection itself in my own opinion is a problem, a problem worse than those that inflict our world now.

  • Blog post by anguyen16

    Using our Purchasing Power:
    1. "In conventional trade the producer generally receives only 1 to 5% of the retail price that the consumer pays, whereas in Fair Trade the producer usually gets 20-30%" (Hoffhine and Farrell, pg. 7).

    This article was an eye opener for me. Before entering this course, i had no idea what in the world fair trade was. I mean for me it was either equal trade or trading at a fair. Jokes aside, it was ridiculous to see how unequal and how terrible the industries that run America treat the "enslaved" work force they use for their products. Although fair trade is not charity it allows for people to gain something valuable. To have pride and to bring home money and prosperity to their low income families. Fair trade brings life to families on the verge of death, and yet our society takes something brilliant as fair trade and corrupts it. I mean numerous companies say they are fair trade companies however in reality they are just companies that use the title as a namesake. They use it to gain more customers, sort of like how there are "organic" brands. Overall this article was a great read and it was an amazing introduction to something i could not even grasp at first.

    Disposable People:
    1. 27 million slaves in the world today more then any other time in history.
    2. $90 is the average cost for a human slave around the world.

    Overall, the disposable people article surprised me however to be honest we should not be expecting anything different. I mean throughout history slavery has been a commonplace and in theory slavery is part of the human condition. Not to generalize, but on a macroscopic level humans being live on slavery. Maybe it is not direct slavery however, people are slaves to their jobs, their families, their duties. Slavery is a social construct that has been with humanity since the dawn of time. Yes, i understand that direct slavery is a horrid and disgusting thing, but just look at the world around us. A beautiful place yes, but a world that is corrupt to its core. Today slavery ranges from 12 to 27 millions, which includes child slaves, sex slaves, and a wide variety of physical labor slaves. We cannot however overlook as i mentioned before the men and women who are slaves to society. Slaves to the social constructs that this world has created. Hopefully in the years to come we can bring an end to all slavery, but maybe that's naive and slavery will always exist.

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