I'm bothered. I can't get this article I read out of my mind. I saw it on Facebook yesterday, and it is about the minimum wage in Haiti. Apparently, the Haitians wanted to raise their minimum wage from 31 cents and hour all the way up to 61 cents an hour. Can you imagine how good this would have been for Haitian minimum wage workers, to have their wages doubled? Wow. That would have been huge.
But it didn't happen.
It didn't happen because the U.S. State department got involved due to the lobbying of Hanes and Levis, who have garment factories in Haiti.
Oh no! We American's can't possibly spend a few cents more per t-shirt or per pair of blue jeans because those huge companies don't want their profits to diminish. Their profits are in the millions. Billions. Huge.
And we here in America are having such HARD TIMES aren't we, that we MUST have cheap t-shirts and Levis jeans. Such hard times that the U.S. State Department has to intervene (threaten? cajole? Be heavy handed?) in the democratic workings of another sovereign nation where sometimes the poor eat dirt?????!!!!!.
I feel like as an American I am inextricably tied up in a system that perpetuates evils here at home and abroad, and that it is nearly impossible for me to escape being part of this system. And as an American, there are SOOOO many pressures to consume, consume, consume. I'm "supposed" to do that. I'm supposed to shop shop shop and want want want.
Being sick, and watching more TV and doing less busy stuff than I'm wont to do under normal circumstances, I've seen lots of TV commercials lately. And the gist of them all is: Buy more stuff and protect the stuff you buy by buying insurance on it. Geico commericals and Allstate commercials might be entertaining (I'd love to see mayhem versus the Gekko in a Godzilla-like showdown, but I digress...), but they are also telling.
And the bottom line is, all this being a part of a messed up system that exploits others is damaging to our own souls, I believe.
And I'm not even touching on the various evils of the food industry...
How do I extricate myself? In what thousand little ways can I stop participating in all of this brokenness?
I wish I were well, and rarin' to go. I would SO like to get up and DO things. But for now, I wait, and think, and contemplate and pray.
Lord, please help me to get my strength back, and show me the way to love mercy, do justice, and walk humbly with my God!