Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The Ways of the World

Naomi is currently 15 weeks old, so hard hitting life lessons are a little beyond her just yet, but it is important to me that she grows up with an appreciation that the world is bigger than she is and even bigger than she can see.

As she grows I want her to realise why in this house we only buy chocolate with a fair trade label on it (the same goes for many other foods, like bananas, sugar and wine), I want her to know that our desire for a quick fix of sugar and comfort doesn't give us the right to force others to live in poverty and that if we can't find fairly traded chocolate, it is probably better to not have any at all.

As she grows I want her to realise that clothes are often made by people who are children themselves and who are paid next to no money for all the work they put in, which is why there are certain shops that we don't buy from and that if we can't afford or find fairly traded ones then we will look in the charity shops to find what we need there, or even sew up the holes in our old clothes (once we have stopped growing enough that our clothes have time to get holes in them!) because us looking the prettiest we possibly can isn't as important as respecting the lives that other people could lead if we in the west weren't oppressing them.

When it comes to environmental issues I want Naomi to learn too. I want her to realise that trees take a long time to grow and that we are chopping them down too fast which is why we only buy recycled paper, why we write lists on used envelopes and why we buy recycled kitchen towels. I want her to realise that we cannot pour cleaning chemicals down the drains without it having a negative effect on our planet which is why we buy the most eco-friendly washing powder, washing up liquid and cleaning products we can.

I don't want Naomi to grow up feeling guilty for the things she cannot change but I do want her to be aware. As she grows up I will involve her in writing to the little boy we sponsor in Tanzania and when she is a good bit older I will take her out to South America to visit a friend who (by that time) will be living there and working as a Christian missionary.

It is important to me that Naomi grows up knowing that not everyone is as lucky as she is and that we all have a responsibility to make sure we don't oppress those who aren't as lucky as we are. It is important in the world that all our children realise that we can't keep going the way we are forever.

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