And Then I Went To Ethiopia… Labor Day Edition

5 09 2010

I have always believed that Labor Day simply marks the end of summer.  And Safety Committee… well, that is what you get stuck on if your boss is pretending to have a succession plan that includes you, but secretly she hopes you will quit.

And then I went to Ethiopia…  I have a feeling that for the rest of my life there will be stories with that line in them…And then I went to Ethiopia…  The stories won’t all be about Little Dude coming into our lives, but rather, stories about how my first time in a “developing nation” made me recognize, realize, question, come-to-terms-with and just think, think, think about so many things.

Work Zone in Intersection - Addis Ababa

Labor Day and Safety Committees… honoring human beings who are trying to do an honest day’s work and trying to make sure they come home alive.  At first I was amused by the lack of safety equipment in Addis.  I think we can all agree that in our litigious society some “safety” concerns are blown out of proportion…coffee cups that tell you the liquid in them may be hot…companies that throw away the white board cleaner because it can be dangerous if drunk by the case-full.  These things bring out the cynic in me.  But I was actually in Ethiopia on May 1st – the day most people of the world celebrate Labor.  And for the first time ever I got it.  People shouldn’t have to die in order to feed their children.  Most people are willing, even happy, to work hard.  But the bottom-line should never outweigh an employees’ life or health.

And oh when I think about this I want to start a drive to collect safety goggles and steel-toed boots to send to construction workers around the world.  But this would be an easy way out (and it probably would NOT work).  What I can do, what we all can do, is to think about what we buy and from whom we buy.  I am not good at this.  I am cheap.  I like cheap stuff.  When I only had one child I bought most things used.  Buying things used is great but it takes time and energy, two things I had lots more of when I just had one kid.   Now I have two children and I buy lots of stuff at Walmart.  I don’t believe that Walmart is the enemy, but I do know I can do better.

Today I will think about the workers of the world.  I will send positive thoughts for their safety and well-being and I will make an honest effort to be a more responsible consumer.




One response

7 09 2010

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, you finally have a blog!!! You are going straight on my google reader. And you’re going to find out just how inarticulate my comments tend to be… sorry.

Sorry, very upbeat comment on a not-very-upbeat topic.

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