Melanie here with sariKNOTsari! This week for the blog I wanted to pop on video to talk about impact. You’ll notice the topic for this week is “You make a difference...You are making an impact!” And this is something I wanted to address because over the Christmas season and New Year’s, I noticed talking with a lot of friends and family that we are overwhelmed by all the negativity in the world and all the problems going on.
We don’t know where to start. There’s war, violence, AIDS, refugees, poverty...the list goes on and on. And it can be overwhelming to know how one person can make a difference. Some people think, “Can I even make a difference?” And I’m here to tell you this week that you can and, in fact, you are making a difference already.
First of all, I want to start with a little example that I’ve figured out through working in retail. This happens all the time. So let’s say a customer asks for a certain product, a fair trade tea. And then someone else asks for it. And someone else asks for it. Eventually we bring that in. It’s supply and demand. So customers have an impact just right there. By asking for something. The owner or manager will say this is very valuable to the customer and we should bring it in.
Another example is just asking for fair trade or ethically sourced. It’s great to be challenged by customers. When people are asking us, “Where does this come from? Where do you get it? Is it local, organic, direct trade?” And sometimes we don’t know the answers to those questions but that’s great because then we get to find out together. And then when the next person asks, we know the answer.
So there’s this ripple effect and this connectiveness where when you are asking a question or making a comment or wanting a product to be brought in, that is effecting other people. It effects us as staff and our product knowledge and future customers who now can have that knowledge from us and buy that product that you asked to bring in.
So basically in this blog post I want to focus on the fact that we aren’t neutral beings. This is something I feel strongly about. Our actions do not have a neutral effect. What we are doing everyday has a positive impact or a negative impact on the world.
So it may be overwhelming to think, “I have something I’m passionate about but I don’t have time. I don’t have time to organize my community to write a petition or do a protest or various other things.” You don’t have to do something that big. Don’t start with this huge problem I have to solve all by myself. Start everyday with little actions. Things you are already doing.
I buy coffee. So instead of buying unethical coffee, I buy ethical coffee. We buy clothing. Instead of buying unethical clothing, look into where you clothing is coming from. It is a great thing just to start asking those questions. Where does this come from?
And then we can make positive, small changes from there and can pick a more ethical option! So that’s basically where I’m at right now. That we can make a difference and we are making a difference through our actions every single day.
There’s another example I wanted to give you: social media. We’re all on social media I’m guilty of it. We are scrolling on instagram and facebook and we post or share funny memes and articles. But what if instead we shared our favourite local clothing brand? Or our favourite fair trade coffee? It can be anything you are passionate about or something that’s supporting someone else in our community.
Let’s say you share that fair trade clothing brand and your sister sees it. She clicks it and loves their stuff and buys something. Then she shares it on her instagram and one of her friends sees it. Same thing...they click it and buy something and so on. So you may think “I’m going to share this article, that’s not going to have any impact, who cares.” But we do have impact, even if we don’t know it! We always have an impact through that ripple effect and network of community.
So if you feel overwhelmed and like you don’t have the money to buy fair trade clothing or the time to volunteer for the causes you are passionate about, look at what you are already doing and see if you can change your actions in that way. If you are already buying coffee or already sharing links on social media, then make a positive difference that way.
It would just be so great if we could all do that! So that is our homework for this week, we’re getting homework again (me included). Whenever I go on video it seems I like to give out homework, I don’t know why. But that’s just what I wanted to leave you with. Vote with you wallet, I always say that.
Let’s get the conversation going. Let me know in the comments things that you can do everyday to make a positive impact.
Thanks so much!