Part 2: From everyone who has been given much.

Wealth is attended with power, by which bargains and proceedings, contrary to universal righteousness, are supported; and hence oppression, carried on with worldly policy and order, clothes itself with the name of justice and becomes like a seed of discord in the soul.
--John Woolman, 1720-1772
       (emphasis mine)
 Read Part 1 here.
I could write all day about sweatshops, about the people--living, breathing people with hopes and dreams and steaks of ugly and beautiful all swirled together, just like us--and about how much easier it is for me to see nothing beyond my dollar except the shiny, new things I take home with me.

But that isn't really saying anything new, now is it?

We all know that they--the people--exist.

And we also know that sweatshops exist. And more or less how they continue to operate.

(And despite what corporate suits try to tell me, I'm sorry, but I really don't think your company swooping in and paying people pennies, ignoring terribly work conditions and forcing child labor is saving them or doing anyone a favor. As my husband and I discussed recently, that old argument was used to defend slavery years ago and I'm afraid it was found without merit, so let's please give your factory workers enough dignity to recognize that if you have to keep forcing an end to the idea of unions, your workers are not satisfied, and they are most certainly not praising the day you arrived.)

((Sorry. I was trying to keep from any rants. But that idea, as my Grandma would say, "really burns me up."))

Friends, the point in me sharing this with you is that it has been on my mind. It has been on my heart. So much so, in fact, that I wake up thinking about it in the middle of the night and can't stop. It has been, as Woolman says above, "a seed of discord in my soul."

This is not a cry for you to donate all your possessions and live out of a box. This is not me shaking my fist at myself, at you, at America and saying that we are all terrible and that everything terrible in the world is our fault.

This, instead, is me believing that you and I, while we may not have our 15 seconds, while we may not ever step foot in Washington, or Hollywood, or command a battlefield, we do have power.

We have power everyday in the way that we choose to spend our money--where to buy groceries, which brands to support, which corporations continue to thrive.

And the professed virtue of capitalism (but really its greatest fear) is that nobodys like me will step up and say, "HEY! YOU, CORPORATE LEADERS! Unless you treat people--all people--with dignity and stop plundering the world for a buck, YOU CAN'T HAVE MINE!"

I'm just one person. A nobody.

And they won't see my face and they won't hear my voice and they won't miss my dollar.

But you. And you. And you and you and you.

If we join together...

Well, then, they just may start to listen.

Part three will post tomorrow. Thanks for reading!


Austin & Terri said...

I love you too friend!! And YES...a date is in order. I'm free after the new year!
P.S. You said Part 3 was coming out today and it did not!! ha!

Sara said...

YES! We'll start off the new year with a date then! :)
P.s. Dang it. You caught me. haha. I think that is like breaking rule #1 for How To Be a Good Blogger. Whoopsie. (and good eye!)