Living A Life Aware Part 1

Global Bazaar is about sharing the story. Our story and the stories of those we partner with. As persons who are passionate about faith and justice we choose to live our lives in a particular way. But the truth is that in all practicality human trafficking and forced labor impacts our world in many small things, from what we consume to what we wear to what technology devices we use. In all reality we do have a choice in how we support or don’t support the pandemic of injustice in our world.

As a step toward thinking creatively about how we choose to be stewards of life, the ladies at Global Bazaar have drafted a two part series on how we choose to live a life aware. We invite you to share what ways you are choosing to use your life, your story, in a way that might impact the life of others by what you choose to buy or not buy, use or not use. Make this an interactive blog, share with us via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail how you choose to live a life aware, your story might inspire others.

From the pen of Jessica Zerkle:

How to live a life more aware? What does it mean to live my life more aware as I, make purchases for all sorts of products?  When I first was introduced to fair trade at a neat, quaint shop in Indianapolis, I loved seeing all the beautiful home décor, jewelry, musical instruments, etc..  Being consciously aware of the macro ripple effects of my purchases at that fair trade store was somewhat easy to comprehend.  But I have wrestled with what it looks like to be a more ethical, conscious shopper as I buy groceries or look for a shower curtain that goes with my new bathroom wall color.  When you step back to think about ALL the products you/I consume in one day, I probably couldn’t tell you the production process from start to finish on the majority of things I consume.

However, with a mindset of grace led by the Holy Spirit, I am seeking to become more aware and “tweak” the purchasing process of my life.  I believe the steps towards behavior change or a more intentional life begins with awareness.  And the Lord has also shown me to show grace towards myself in the process.  And from that awareness, I believe we can take some very practical steps to utilize our purchasing power for more redemptive business practices.  Some practical things that are helping me work towards this living a life more aware are:

  • Utilize resources like Better World Shopper (www.betterworldshopper.org) and Free to Work (www.free2work.org) to gain more insight into which producers and stores are exhibiting the most ethical business practices.
  • Politely asking personnel at stores how certain products came to be on the shelves.  For instance, if you really like that rug at Target, don’t be afraid to ask store employees or contact company representatives about the production process of that item.
  • Read as much as possible about specific industry trends.  A great book to create general awareness is Everday Justice by Julie Clawson.

We can live a life more aware, especially when we seek the Holy Spirit’s direction.  And my prayer for us is that we don’t pursue this as a “to do” on our lists and place undue pressure on ourselves. But I pray we would embrace the grace of our Father and it extend it to others as we pursue social holiness.

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