Friday, February 21, 2014

Your Slavery Footprint

I feel like this last year has been one of great growth.  It all started when I read this book.  From there, God slowly started changing my heart and opening my eyes.  Last January when I read Jen Hatmaker's book, 7: An Experimental Mutniy Against Excess, I remember feeling completely compelled but also terrified about what this would look like fleshed out.  A call to live with less, on less and to give away more.  I wasn't sure what this would look like for our family and I was terrified that this new understanding about my role and responsibility to mankind would fade over time.  I didn't want apathy to resettle on my heart.

But, like always, God is faithful.  He opened my eyes and I could suddenly see multiple ways I could live out the life He'd called His people to.  It's like when you're learning a new word and all of a sudden you hear it used everywhere.  Knowledge has a way of uncovering opportunity.

One particular opportunity is taking ownership over the goods I consume and purchase.  I hate to admit that I am just now starting to think about where my goods come from.  Who made them?  Why they might be priced so low?  Anyone who knows me knows that I am always on the hunt for a bargain.  But my frugality might be more harmful than I realize.

I stumbled upon this website, Made in a Free World to learn more about my slavery footprint.  I challenge you to take the interactive survey and learn more about your impact through consumerism.

Goods made ethically will cost more.  I might be able to buy less of them.  But freedom has never come cheap.

My friend, Liz, wrote a powerful piece for the Huffington Post.  Read it here.

I love her closing thought:

It doesn't take an iron will to decide that just maybe you don't need another cheap tank top or to decide to buy that chocolate from a company that abides by fair trade principles.

It only takes believing. Believing that you, in the simple acts of listening and speaking and giving and abstaining, can change the course of history.
One by one. Little by little. Step by step we can walk together and as President Obama said "declare as one that slavery has no place in our world, and.... finally restore to all people the most basic rights of freedom, dignity, and justice."
I often wonder, how can I do anything?  What difference can I possibly make?  But if we're not a tiny piece of the solution, we're part of the problem.  Educate yourself, advocate for others, engage.  It is for freedom, I have set you free.  -Jesus (Galatians 5:1)   

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