Slavery Happens


In case you forgot, I’m volunteering for two weeks in the Development department of an international nonprofit. Development basically means fundraising. I’m there to do whatever needs to be done and also learn about their process.  A huge part of their philosophy is building relationships by personally thanking the donors. Every note is signed, some get a handwritten P.S., some are completely handwritten. This is mostly what I’ve been doing, working on thank yous. Around four yesterday I was half feeling really sorry for myself and half canonizing myself. I am so thankful to help in any way necessary but the work can get tedious. Sign the letter, tear off the receipt, fold the return envelope, put the contents in the envelope, glue it shut, put the stamp on, repeat.  The repetitive nature of repeating the movements for four days physically hurt. My back ached. My wrists were in pain. That’s when I got it. I chose to put myself in this position because I believe in the cause of the organization. However, there are people who have far more physically demanding work. They are paid very little or aren’t paid. They may be sexually exploited. As spoiled as I sounded complaining about doing the envelopes, I often need that physical connection to empathize. I’d heard about IJM, Not For Sale, the End It Movement. I thought they were all great causes but they never tangibly struck me that way. What is most convicting about the modern day slave trade is that I can guarantee you that you have participated in some way. Have you ever taken this quiz to see how many slaves you employ? I just downloaded the Free2Work app so I can make more informed buying decisions.We have so much power to create change. I have this power and yet I often choose to buy that cute, cheap dress from a certain chain, knowing full well that it’s cheap because someone else paid for it in sweat and pain. One quote I love says, “Everybody wants to change the world, but nobody wants to change.” For me, change looks like a lot more thrift store shopping and intentionally informed shopping of mass-produced items. Let’s take small steps together. I would love to be held accountable by all of you. In light of the topic, today’s song is Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer. I think this is a song of my generation: a lot of opinionated waiting and very few people who act.


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1 comment:

  1. wow. really needed this post today taylor. it's so easy to want change, but putting it into action is harder. the effort is worth it. even the littlest change by one person can make an impact.


Thanks for making my day a little brighter with your lovely words!