Gifting with Ethics Pt 1

This is the beginning of a Series. {I hope you’ll stick around for the rest}

There’s a whole lot of narcissism that erupts this time of year. At least there is in my life. Granted I COULD be giving extra money, or volunteering extra, or shoveling my neighbor’s sidewalk in the Christmas Spirit. The reality, however, is that while I’ve considered doing some of those things, and even helped a bit, I’ve done plenty of muttering to myself about the busyness of December. I’ve whined about my feet and budget as I shop, I’ve wondered if I really ought to bother giving gifts because – really? We’re all doing just fine. I don’t give many gifts, just immediate family members.  Christmas for us is really about – us. Celebrating – Us. Enjoying – Us.

Which is very good. Loving family and friends is GOOD. Being stressed because I’m spending too much money on gifts, and being angry at the crowds is BAD. Giving money to a corporation I later realize is amoral, not paying their workers enough, hurting those around them is also BAD. I care a lot about where my money goes, and if that happens I feel sick to my stomach. This year, as I bought Christmas gifts I continued to think a lot about who I was giving my money to, and found some solutions to these moral dilemmas I’ve been pondering.

When I support good causes while giving enjoyable gifts, life is better for everyone. I am showing the Love that I profess to be a part of my life to the humans around me, letting my loved ones know I care for them, and preventing a future moral dilemma for myself. Not being driven by commercialism is good for my soul, and the people whose lives I can help.

How?

1. People don’t get a lot from me. Sorry, they don’t.

2. When they do get something, there’s a good chance it’s second-hand. [Buying second-hand means no money goes to a large corporation holder]. And I don’t do this for people I know don’t thrift – that’s just weird.

3. I buy Fairtrade, which means those who manufactured the items I bought were paid a fair wage. A living wage, not a wage that enables them to live up to my standard of living, but one which means they don’t fear for tomorrow’s lunch. It just makes sense.

4. I buy local.

5. Sometimes I just buy what fits the bill and is available, because – I’m human. Being irresponsible with my money is also wrong, so – I’m a work in progress.

Better World Shopper

the.problem

Money is power. And wherever large amounts of money collect, so also new centers of power form. The latest historical manifestation of this is the modern corporation.
Make no mistake, these new power centers are not democracies. We don’t vote for the CEO’s or their policies (unless we are: rich enough to be significant shareholders, informed enough to know what’s going on, and compassionate enough to care about more than just personal profit), yet our destinies are increasingly in their hands.

the.solution

As these power centers shift, we must shift our own voices if we wish to be heard. As citizens, on average, we might vote once every 4 years, if at all. As consumers, we vote every single day with the purest form of power…money.

The average American family spends around $18,000 each year on goods and services. Think of it as casting 18,000 votes every year for the kind of world you want to live in. Use this site to take back your power.

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One thought on “Gifting with Ethics Pt 1

  1. Pingback: LIZ ALIG – Ethical Gifting {GIVEAWAY!} | My adventures abroad...

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