One of my many favourite movies is Baz Luhrmann’s romantic fantasy Moulin Rouge.
Interestingly, my subconscious mind woke me this morning with “Come What May” singing in my head. It’s a beautiful song about the never-ending-passionate-romantic-love of another human being (sigh).
May I suggest another perspective? For me this song is also a powerful reminder of the never-ending-passionate-hunger to really do something extraordinary with my life. The line; “…And there’s no mountain too high no river too wide” resonates.
In the words of Dr Seuss “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way“. Surely anything is possible?
Miss Meaningful was created because I had a dream. A dream to make a meaningful difference in this world.
So what is Miss Meaningful going to do about the issues we are faced with today?
I do what I can by consuming consciously, contributing where I can and donating when I can. I also write this blog. This is my way of being the change I want to see in the world.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the current issues on safer conditions for workers in foreign countries. The events in Bangladesh and subsequent media attention has highlighted this issue around the world.
It’s Deja vu. Remember the discovery of sweatshops and child labour in the 90’s? Taking advantage of the disadvantage is not new. So is this a consumer issue or an issue for the business people who sign the manufacturers contracts? Is it the manufacturer who offers workers unsafe buildings but is employing people who otherwise may not work (or eat)?
I don’t have all the answers but what I do know is that as consumers and business people we are all responsible for our choices and unlike many of those who are disadvantaged, we have a voice.
For me, as a consumer, asking questions is key. I think before I buy. And I ask, who is getting what out of this transaction? And, as a business woman, I consider what I can do to ensure my ‘brand’ is contributing to the greater good of this world – no exceptions.
Here’s a recent quote from Chief Executive of Oxfam Australia, Dr Helen Szoke*:
“We surveyed 1000 people across Australia to determine their attitude to garments that they buy in Australia being produced overseas. And what we found was that 70 per cent of the people surveyed said they would be actually willing to pay more for their clothing if that meant that people overseas, who were producing it, were paid a better wage and if they had safe working conditions.”
As this survey suggests, people care. I strongly believe we all genuinely want to give everyone the opportunity to work and receive a fair wage with appropriate working conditions.
Not buying from overseas is not the answer. It’s important we don’t stop spending because that won’t help the people in Bangladesh or any other country where people need work.
It’s taken me two weeks to refine this post. I feel this is a sensitive issue that needs careful consideration. My thoughts are: let’s be conscientious buyers, let’s demand accountability from retailers, and let’s seek other ways we can support those in need. Together we can make change. Not just for today – let’s make a meaningful difference for the future.