Friday, April 07, 2006

Another Day, Another Dollar.

I found this T-Shirt design online the other day – It made me laugh, and then made me think. They say there’s a little truth in all humour. In this case there’s a lot of truth.

Another day, another dollar is an old saying still in use today, but many people in sweatshops and cocoa farms around the world, it’s not a saying; it’s a literal reality.

But I’m not to blame is the easy thing to say. But then I look down and see my Nikes, that I bought real cheap at the Nike store at DressMart. My branded jeans that I got for $10 at DressMart and my $5 T-Shirt from the Wharehouse.

I love a bargain, especially when it comes to items of necessity. But if it’s a bargain, and the shops are still making a profit, and the importer is still making a profit, and the global corporation whose brand I’m wearing is still making a profit, and the factory OWNER, and the people he has to bribe are still making a profit, then just how much do they pay the people who actually made my clothes?

And what about my favourite food, chocolate? My daughter hope had something to say about that in her blog recently.

And it’s a bit of a curly situation really. I know that I can get No Sweat shoes from Trade Aid, the trouble is my Nikes only cost me $40, and that’s all I could afford – getting a pair of No Sweat shoes will cost me $80 - $120 (I’m guessing) – that’s double the price and I have to go to a Trade Aid store – not exactly handy. I wear cheap clothes for a reason; in NZ terms I don’t get paid a lot, so I don’t have much to spend.

Chocolate is a different story. I love the Trade Aid chocolate, and at $2.00 a bar it’s not too badly priced. Trouble is, I normally only buy chocolate when I’m feeling like chocolate, and when I’m feeling like chocolate I’m unlikely to be browsing at a Trade Aid shop.

So what is a Christian to do when it comes to living the Gospel in what we purchase. Can we realistically make a choice that would make Jesus proud? And if we did would it really make a difference?

Are we better off protesting against sweatshops and poor farmers (in our sweatshop produced clothing) and writing to our MP. Should we join a worthy cause, donate money or spend 1 hour a day praying?

What is there that we can realistically do to make a difference?


servant said...

one place to start is to stop taking the easy options in our purchasing.

If you want to spend a little more on shoes put aside a little each week till you've got enough (think ahead).

Chocolate? Buy a few bars and stash them away then develop the self discipline to not touch them until you do actually have a real craving for chocolate.

I'm still working on this stuff so am right there in what you're thinking.

I think we look for the easy options far too often rather than the harder options which have greater benefits in the long run.

jeanie said...

Finally got round to linking you on my blog...

Good posts, mate. Keep it up.

onscreen said...

Thanks Jeanie. I'm gonna have to seriously have to think about updating my links :o)