Let’s shake things up around here. I think we’re in need of a breath of fresh air.
Larger corporations are using “fair trade” as a marketing tool, draining it of its meaning. It’s no longer enough to look for a symbol on a package. We need to do research. We need to expand what we mean by fair trade and get to the heart of our words and actions.
I recently attended The Justice Conference (a HUGE breath of fresh air for me!) and came home with rich ideas to chew on like:
- justice efforts without relationships turn people into projects and essentially dehumanize them.
- justice is about doing AND listening.
I have said and I believe that our purchasing decisions are a chance to buy into a more beautiful story. I want to keep that.
But I have also written about “them” almost until I could write no more, turning lives into my projects, when what I really need to is to have more conversations, make fair and just decisions from a base of everyone deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and thoughtfulness. Sometimes I see those things in myself, but I don’t see them enough. I certainly don’t see them enough in this blog.
Before today, my posts were mostly written retroactively. I was trying to convey what had happened in my head and my heart and my kitchen before. I’ve been itching for more for a while now, so not everything will be new to both of us, but now most of it will. I want to explore, discuss, learn, try, fail, and try again to cultivate hearts that truly believe and lead to behaviors that show we believe that all people should receive dignity, care, and respect. I want to do that together.
We’ll stick with our original theme of making eating choices that lead to fullness of life in both the producing and the consuming realms of food and explore themes like:
- What’s going on with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers?
- Justice minus relationships turns people into projects.
- Double Up Food Bucks Program
- Why are children going hungry in the United States?
- What happens when people gather around a table?
We all need to eat several times throughout the day, making food one of the most consistent opportunities to make choices that support the kind of world we want to live in.
People whose work gets food from the fields into our homes and helps to sustain our lives are often given the least amount of respect. This is backwards and needs to change.
Food is community glue. I’m convinced human beings were made for honest, generous, gracious community. Magic happens around when two or more are gathered around a table.
This is not an eating program. This is about the heart of the choices we make and the relationships we engage in through face-to-face interaction and consumption. It’s about everyone being treated as valuable because everyone is. It’s about getting educated about past and current events, stories of human lives, and cultures we don’t understand.
This is not about perfection. There’s a lot we have to learn. We might (and probably will) get frustrated, but most of us in The Social Eater community eat at least 3 times a day. That’s 3 times we get to try again to make choices that contribute to everyone’s quality of life.
This is an ongoing journey.
What do you say? Are you in?