Friday, January 13, 2012

Is this enough?

I have been struggling all day with this post.  I have done just about everything I can to not sit down and write this.  I have started writing it multiple times in my head and that all sounds good.  I just can't make myself sit down and start writing it.  This week is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  Wednesday of this week was Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  One of the blogs I follow talked about a website where you can go and see how many slaves work for you based on your consumption of various items.  I went to the survey and began to take it.  Even as I was doing it, I told myself I shouldn't be.  I knew the answer would bother me, but I felt like I had to know.  The issue of Human Trafficking is something about which I'm rather passionate.  You can pretty regularly hear me lecturing my students about this reality in other parts of the world.  I have begun to actively seek out products and organizations that help free people from this life.  I started my Where to Give series to inform you guys about things you can do to make a difference.  After reading 31 Days to your Blogging Mojo, I consciously decided to include charities like this in my blog regularly.  (I know this is about relationships and these charities make other relationships for other people around the world better.)

Anwyay, so I took the survey.  As I took it, I was never sure if I should answer about us as a family or about me individually.  So I think I mixed the answers and guessed a little bit.  I was also not sure if I should really count hand me down clothes and what about gifts.  Can I really say that they are working for me when I didn't buy the items?  So after wrestling with these questions and answering them with the worst possible answer.  I got my score.  It was 61!  SIXTY-ONE people are working in bondage for me to have my stuff.  SIXTY-ONE SLAVES are working for me.  That is totally unacceptable, but I'm stymied as to how to change it.  Most of the numbers came from underwear and electronics.  However, my husband and I just by Wal-Mart type underwear and only when we are desperate.  My son has several pair of underwear, but they are ALL hand-me-downs.  What else could I do to ensure that I am getting fair trade underwear that I can afford?  And as for the electronics, we do have lots.  However, most of them are gifts or several years old.  The laptops were for work and school we have.  The game systems are gifts as is the e-reader.  And even if they weren't how do we get fair trade for these items?  Does that exist?

I sponsor 2 children through Compassion.  I donate to The Sound of Hope.  I bought products from FreeSet, Hello Somebody, and fashionABLE.  I'm going to be buying some products from Tukula.  I want another scarf from fashionABLE and another watch from Hello Somebody.  I also would love to have a custom back from FreeSet.  Doesn't that count toward lowering my score?  I realize this is a just so you know survey and it isn't an exact number.  However, I still don't like that number and I want to do something about it.  My question is this:  Are those things above enough?  What else could I do on a limited budget?  How can I make a bigger difference?  Am I making enough of a difference?

Sorry for the rambling, but I had to get that off my chest.  Thanks for listening.


  1. I know. It's so crazy how pervasive trafficking is within our country and yet we are so {probably often choose to be} so blind to it!

  2. Maybe the key to making enough of a difference is to keep telling people. Maybe by just creating the conversation digitally and in person can begin to change things.