Money Talks – Living Your Politics

So I’ve blogged before trying to find shoes that I like that aren’t pedaled by an evil corporate overlord that was funding Santorum (blech!) and also on the ideas of living your politics (like an Evangelical, please don’t spend all your time talking about your beliefs–just go ahead and live them. “Actions speak louder than words” and all that [big long rant redacted]).

As we all know, money talks. If you don’t want to support something, don’t spend your money on it.

I was just talking to one of my friends about coffee shops. I will go grossly out of my way to try to get coffee beverages from a local place, because I worked at a local coffee shop for about 7 years, and when one of our fellow local shop’s lease was up for renewal, Starbucks came in and sniped it by jacking up the price to beyond what they could pay and forcing them out of business. I now have a moral objection to Starbucks.

This is a philosophy I am striving to expand into the rest of my life. I’ve set a challenge for myself for this summer that I will only buy new clothes if I absolutely HAVE to, and if I do, they have to come from stores that I’ve researched and approve of the philosophy and actions of the company. If possible, I should buy from used clothing stores. Otherwise, I will be making anything I want or need. I’m trying to also segue from buying my materials at box stores like Joann’s, and instead moving to local shops. One of the things I miss about my old neighborhood was the local food coop only a few blocks away. I try to buy fair trade. I try to make note of women-friendly products and businesses, as well as queer-friendly and non-gender policing.

It’s easy, especially in a big city like Boston full of the easy convenience of big name stores with low prices, to go the path of least resistance. But our big talk is worth only so much if we don’t act on it. We of the righteous ragin’ liberal left really like to talk about equality, and stopping this culture that sanctions all kinds of abuses. Well, we need to make sure we live it. Because if we’re talkin’ the talk, but then going out and spending our money at places that just uphold all this stuff we’re raging against, then we’re nothing but sacks of hot air.

It’s not easy. It can occasionally be more expensive. It’s a lifestyle that I am certainly not great at, but I strive constantly to improve. Sure, I’m one grain of sand–but enough grains of sand and you eventually have a beach. Where and how we spend our money is living our politics, and it’s a very real, very simple way to begin to effect social change. It’s not glamorous or highly visible, but not everything is going to a big ol’ headline on the CV of justness. I’m not saying this is the number one best way to change things, but it’s a step. Every step counts.

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04/09/2010. Tags: . Uncategorized.

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