while sort of attending a workshop this weekend (that is, before i left that to attend Pukefest 2006. Too much information, I know), the girl two chairs over from me said something which was very poignant and which struck both Ernie and I significantly.
Although I did not have the mind to write it down directly, it was something along these lines:
"Every dollar that you spend is a vote for the future that you want."
Isn't that stellar? The power of it comes in its truthfulness. As consumers, we have so much power which I don't think that we even realize. In essence, me buying a specific product is me telling that company that specific product is valuable to me, that I accept the terms under which I purchased it, and that I accept the practices of the store which I purchased it at. And, more importantly, I am telling them that I want them to make more in the exact same way.
This means that, in essence, I voted for and supported the business and production of the following things this last week:
1) Staples Busines Depot, a shop with generally bad service and generally low wages, which I overlooked due to the low prices.
2) Sprite and the Coca-Cola company in general. Though this purchase was made at a time of illness-induced delirium, I still take responsibility for it. Coke does not have the best reputation Internationally in treating people well.
3) To be fair to myself and give me some fuzzy-wuzzies, I did purchase some organic bananas visited Harry's Foods, and chose to eat out at Prairie Ink Cafe, a restaurant with strong Winnipeg roots and a commitment to fresh non-processed food.
4) to again be fair to myself, I did purchase a sweater which I am pretty sure was made by a 5 year old child in Indonesia.
I am embarassed at most of these.
Do you think Staples or Coke is going to sue me? If they do, they should know that I don't have much money. Anyway, continuing on . . .
So yet AGAIN, because I apparantly don't always get these things right, I am re-affirming my commitment to building a better world. This time specifically by voting with my money.
I choose to vote for a world in which corporations accept and take seriously their social responsibility. I choose to vote for a world in which businesses are localized, run by the people which they serve, and offer living wages. I choose to vote for a world which places people before profit. I choose to vote for a world which includes having Johnny Depp sunbathe on my front lawn (just kidding). I choose to vote for a world which does not employ child labour. I choose to vote for a world in which all people are respected, and all people have access to clean water, healthy food, and health care. And I choose to vote for this with my wallet, although it is at times difficult and significantly more expensive.
What world do you choose to vote for?