Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Salty and bright

{a reflection on the collapsed factory in Bangladesh}

When I found out about the collapse of the clothing factory in Bangladesh, the first thing I did was to check the tag on my shirt.

Was it made in Bangladesh?
Who made my shirts, my shoes, my scarves, my pants?
Was it one of the 400 ladies who were killed?

My heart sank as I glanced at my closet.
So. Many. Clothes.
Too many.
(Why do I have so many clothes?)

I may not own anything made in that particular factory, but I am sure some of my clothes were made by people working under similar conditions. People who are underpaid and exploited because they need to feed their families. Some of those girls, they looked so young. Am I responsible for their deaths?

No, of course it's not my fault.
I have no way of knowing the conditions of the places where my clothes were made.
Blame greedy factory owners. Blame greedy and corrupted governments. Blame greedy capitalists.
I am innocent.

Or am I?

When it comes to issues of the public squarelike sweatshops, abortion, and terrorism, we can sometimes feel so powerless. We feel as though there is so little we can do to create real change.

At the root of these great injustices is sin. We can begin fighting injustice by fighting the sins of our own hearts. After all, I am the only person I am able to control.

I am greedy. I covet things. I fall prey to the allures of fast fashion and cheap chic. I love branded bargains and slick deals. I love stuff.

Fighting injustice begins in my own heart. I am called to be salt; I am called to be light. I cannot force people to taste justice and see goodness. However, I can learn to be salty, and I can learn to be bright.

The Lord is my perfect garment. I shall not be in want.
Therefore, I can buy less. I can buy secondhand. I can buy wisely.
I can love simple living.
I can love people, not stuff.


Sherryberry said...

Thank you Irene.

Irene Sun said...

thank YOU, Sherry. You crossed my mind when I was writing this post. You and your strong desire to do works of justice. =) how have you been?