“Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”Proverbs 31:8-9
Be a voice for those without a voice, for the cause of those who are “appointed to destruction”. Plead the cause of the poor and needy. Can’t help but think that last phrase in verse 8 is describing abortion. They are children unwanted, they have no voice of their own, their mother may have already made the “appointment” for an abortion, for their destruction.
We need to be the voice for the voiceless.
And we need to plead the cause of the poor and needy… there are many tragic situations we could come up with that we should get behind and plead the cause of. For me, my heart is heavy for the tragedy that is modern day slavery. Sex trafficking, bonded labor, child labor, debt bondage. It’s happening all around us, near and far.
Did you know the fashion/textile industry is one of the biggest industry responsible for forced labor around the globe?
Did you ever think about where your clothes come from?
Did you ever think about how cheap some of our clothing is these days? As a seamstress, I know how much time and materials go into making a garment. Even just a simple tank top… I just wonder how in the world can a company sell a shirt for under $5 and still make a profit?
Of course large companies can purchase supplies in bulk and get significant savings on cost per item, I understand that. And there is some machinery nowadays to cut fabric in bulk. But someone has to put the garment together… someone has to run the machines… how are they being compensated?
I’ve recently been doing some research on the problem specifically in Bangladesh. I’m not sure what my draw to Bangladesh is, except that I’ve been reading the tags of some of my clothes and seeing where they are made, several are made in Bangladesh.
If you are unfamiliar with what exactly bonded labor is, I’d suggest reading this article as it explains is very clearly. Bonded labor is an even more prevalent form of slavery than sex trafficking, but is less known worldwide.
And while there are laws and investigations and police forces dedicated to abolishing slavery in place at varying degrees around the world; there will always be criminals who want power and who break the laws.
What can I do?
One way I can do my part is telling you about the problem. Bringing awareness to the issue. Shining a light on the darkness. “Pleading the cause of the poor and needy”.
It can feel like a huge, heavy issue and how can we ever make a difference? As it’s been said before, we might not change the whole world at once, but by our efforts we just might change the world for one. And isn’t it worth it to help just one?
Practical things we can do:
⛔Stop buying cheap products. I know it feels good to get a good deal on something! But before you buy that cheap, new thing (that you really don’t need anyways, let’s be honest), ask some questions first! Where did it come from? Who made it? Were they paid a fair wage? Is this information easily found on the company’s website? If not, maybe think twice. You could be funding the continued debt bondage of a poor family.
✅Check products and companies who list themselves as Certified Fair Trade. This means that they provide their employees with a fair wage in trade for their hard work. It is a competitive wage that provides for their family with dignity.
✅ Buy secondhand! Reduce the demand for new items by purchasing at thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets. It can force you to be patient to find pieces for your closet or home that your really need/want, and is soooo much more satisfying when you finally find the right thing!
✅Buy local. Buy handmade. Buy from real people who work with their hands. You will pay more. But you will have a quality item that will last decades. Don’t impulse buy, calculate the costs vs your needs. Be discerning and make good choices.
✅Mend and make do. When your clothes become worn, stained or torn, look into the basic sewing skills that you can easily learn to mend them and make do. Prolonging the life of a garment can reduce waste in the environment and delay you having to spend more money on more new items.
✅Share. Tell others the information that you’ve learned here. The more people who know and do better, the bigger impact we can make. But every drop in the water creates a ripple. So keep sharing.
🌱Most of all, don’t become overwhelmed by the evil that surrounds us in this sinful world. Remember, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have over come the world.” John 16:33
Be of good cheer! By your knowing and doing better, you CAN make a difference in the global economy and trust that God will bless in and through your efforts.