When it comes to stories, no matter how messy or boring or complicated they seem, we’ve all got one.
Stories are the great unifier. The passing “how are you?” has become such a cautious way to greet someone and move on; often times without even listening to the response.
The most powerful way to find ourselves in another shoes even for a moment is in the pause to honestly pay attention.
I remember hearing someone say that “you can’t hate someone whose story you know,” and I have determined to live that way, because there is always more beneath the surface of someone’s exterior. While we may not all of a sudden decide to become best friends, we can find humanity in each other that changes the way we interact with the world around us, with that annoying neighbor we avoid, or the latest headliner of a nightly news story that we want to vilify.
The reason for fair trade and ethically sourced shopping is because we truly believe in putting the story back into your purchase. When the conversation switches from “how fast and cheap can I get it?” to “how can I get something lasting that values another?” we are on track for something both revolutionary and simple. Fair trade matter puts the story back in the conversation. It feels like the way we were always meant to live.
Most of us go about our day and make purchases without much thought. I totally get it, I’ve been guilty of it most my life, but what I love is that there is another way. There is a way that home decor and accessories can not just be things you buy to keep up with your cool neighbor or to copy an HGTV show, but they can instead become beautiful empowerment tools for another. You are no longer just buying a candle; you are celebrating the life of a resettled refugee. You are no longer just buying a new rug; you are empowering a woman to live a full life. Stories make life significant and conscious shopping is a simple way we can all celebrate the world around us.
The pace of life can cause us at times to rush past one another and move on to other tasks and deadlines, but I want to encourage us to dig a little deeper. The story behind the product you are buying, the person standing next to you in line, the owner of that business, or the new coworker sitting next to you are all worth paying attention too.
When we know each others stories, we treat each other differently. We walk differently, knowing that we can be a support system for each other instead of living in a cloud of constant competition. Stories matter because people matter, you, me, the person next door, and the person across the world.
Ask someone to coffee, listen to another’s powerful story, celebrate artisans, and together we can make a more beautiful world.
Here’s to a more beautiful world!