Saturday, August 8, 2009

Social Conscience

My heart is torn these days by a couple of burning questions.

Which is more socially responsible: To buy from BigBox Store, and thus save the family budget, keep your own spending in check, and thus support the policies that some say are so bad for their employees and the environment? Or to buy at more expensive places, items that are supposed to be better for the environment and from more socially responsible retailers, but spending more than you can truly afford?

Which is better: To buy products made cheaply in countries where dictators rule the people, or to eschew those products and only buy from places where there is more freedom for the people who produce the goods?

I ask because I do not know. I spoke to a man who is an American living in China, and asked his opinion about the "don't buy 'Made in China' movement." He told me the people of China have a saying, "The government is the government and the people are the people," and I have said the same thing when our government has pulled lame brained stunts. He further told me that the recession has hit China, and rural people are losing their jobs because the companies they work for are not selling quite as many goods as they used to.

Which is better: The so-called "hypermiler" driver, one who drives in such a way as to squeeze every mile possible out of every gallon of gas, but who gets in the way of countless others who then use more gas to get around the guy, or to drive as conservatively as one can while not hindering traffic?

In our house, as Dave Ramsey says, the money comes in, the money goes out, and only the names are changed to protect the guilty. Every month another major need or crisis or oil change or back to school or something that drains the money so fast we wonder how we will eat that month.

Then I see Made in China on the label, and remember the pictures of the church pastor bleeding in the street with the police standing over him, still beating him as he lies there. I hear my friends who work at BigBox Store talk about how their hours have been cut. I watch some hypermiler going so slowly on the interstate that everyone else is wasting gas trying to get around him.

I see and hear and observe and wonder what I am supposed to do in all of this.

I know my role is first and foremost to love. To love God, and to show that love by actively being the eyes and ears and hands and feet of Him and show true love to others, by serving others.

How is this best expressed?

I ask because I really do not know.

Then I get up on Saturday morning and go to BigBox Store and try to buy only just enough to put food on the table and still meet all of our other obligations.

I just really do not know, how is a social conscience best expressed these days?

Today is:

Bonza Bottler Day

Burryman Festival, Scotland

Dollar Day

Independence Day, Bhutan

International Character Day

Finest Fairy Finals -- Fairy Calendar (Do only the finest fairies take finals? How do the others get a final grade? :D )

Fourteen Holy Helpers' Day

Happiness Happens Day

Nudist Convention (Nobody sees these spider veins, sorry.)

National Frozen Custard Day

National Garage Sale Day

Odie Day (Garfield's pal Odie.)

Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night (Please, I love the stuff but can't grow plants to save my life, I'll leave the porch light on for you!)

St. Cyriacus' Day

St. Dominic's Day

The Date To Create

Victory Day, Rhode Island

Birthdays Today:

Keith Carradine, 1949
Connie Stevens, 1938
Dustin Hoffman, 1937
Mel Tillis, 1932
Esther Williams, 1923
Rory Calhoun, 1922
Dino De Laurentis, 1919
Matthew Henson, 1866
Emperor Horikawa of Japan, 1079

Today in History:

The Romans destroy the Tower of Antonia, 70
Otto I (The Great) crowned German king, 936
Vijayanagara Empire is rebegun with the crowning of emperor Krishnadeva Raya, 1509
The first known ascent (indoors) of a hot-air ballon by Bartolomeu de Gusamao, 1709
US Congress adopts the Silver Dollar and a decimal monetary system, 1786
Metal bullet cartridges are patented by Smith and Wesson, 1854
Mimeograph is patented by Thomas Edison, 1876

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