Monday is always a busy day for me – I leave the house at 7.00 (6.00 UK time) and don’t get back till gone 6.00. I’m techno idiot too, so my “smart phone” (they’re only as smart as their owners!) isn’t very smart and doesn’t have whizzy connections to the internet outside of home. So I didn’t know what yesterday’s challenge was until I got home – no time to write a blog post.
ACT #5 FAIR & SQUARE: Fairtrade Fortnight starts today here in the UK. Today’s act is a simple one to start the week: support the Fairtrade movement. Because everyone has the right to earn a fair wage for an honest day’s work.
I’ve got 5 minutes: If you can’t support Fairtrade with your wallet, use your voice instead. Read up about the movement, and tell someone why it’s a cause worth supporting.
I’ve got 10 minutes: Buy Fairtrade today when you stop at the shops for that drink or bar of chocolate. Even better, buy two and give one to a friend.
I’ve got an hour: Ever thought about a Fairtrade wardrobe? It might be more costly, but ask yourself: if that high street store can make a profit on those £5 shoes, how much really reaches the factory worker paid to make them?
I used to buy more FT stuff in the UK – it’s not that easy to find in France. The Commerce Equitable section in Carrefour has diminished a lot over the past few years, but I don’t know if that is because the items have been disseminated throughout the store. I buy FT coffee, and if I see FT chocolate when I’m buying chocolate I might get that (but only if I like the flavour!) Otherwise…not so much. But I will pledge to buy FT alternatives when I see them. Not a great Act, but a little one.
And I do also need to think about the last Act there too: I like my cheap clothing. I do admit to enoying a good rummage in Primark when I’m in the UK, and I do draw a veil over my slight misgivings if I find a top I really like…I often try to justify it by saying to myself “Well, you know any brand, cheap or expensive, could be using sweat shops and slave labour to make their clothes, so I might as well buy this…” Which is true. So maybe I need to try to do some more research into which brands do or don’t use sweatshops, instead of using it as an excuse.
Sometimes I look at clothes I like, but regretfully turn away saying “It’s too expensive for me to justify buying it…”Maybe my slogan needs to be “It’s too cheap for me to justify buying it…”
ACT #6: Thank You, Thank You, Thank You: Gratitude – one of the best catalysts for generosity. When we’re thankful, we generally want to share the blessing around. Take some time today to express your gratitude and let someone know they’re fully appreciated.
I’ve got 5 minutes: Got Twitter? Send someone a quick tweet to let them know why you’re thankful for them in 140 characters. You could do this by text or phone too if you like.
I’ve got 10 minutes: Write a good old-fashioned thank you note. It’s a worthy way to spend time, and everyone loves getting ‘real mail’ in the post!
Make a commitment:Write a thank you note to a different person everyday throughout Lent. Watch our video to find out what happened when one 40acts challenger did this last year…
Aha! This is more my cup of tea – words!! I liked the reflection which you can read here
One suggestion, which I liked very much, was “If you want more of a challenge, why not also write to someone in authority in your local area and thank them for their hard work? You could write to your MP, local councillors, church leader. Even if you don’t like everything they do, let’s be generous with our thankfulness.”
Of course, for me, part of the problem is the language barrier – my French isn’t great, and I sometimes struggle to make myself understood, but I do like the idea of writing to say Thank You to the Council and the Mayor. They do a lot of work for the Commune and I would imagine they don’t always get much thanks for it. So today, I will drop a card off at the Mairie with a brief note, and I will also write a card to our Rector to thank him (and his wife) for all that they do for Church.
The year before last, before I knew about 40Acts, I tried to write 40 letters/notes during Lent. I didn’t maage the full forty, but I did have several responses, saying how appreciated the notes were. Maybe I’ll try to add a few more Thank Yous to today’s Act…
And Thank You too to my readers and commenters of my blogs. It’s good to know when something resonates with you.