Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful: Family, Friends and Freedom

This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with the Farrums and her family. Her adorable family made me think of my adorable family. Too too cute. (Also, I have been brushing up on my Spanish lately and felt proud I could follow everything her gpa said in his low- raspy-Godfatheresque-voice.) While eating I looked up and saw a painting of a skyline and immediately recognized it as my home town. After further investigation, we realized there was a plaque that confirmed it was a depiction of the Country Club Plaza Christmas Lighting in Kansas City. Every year on Thanksgiving night the Country Club Plaza will light the streets with Christmas lights and fireworks. Its always been a tradition to go to the plaza lighting following dinner that night, so it was even more special for me to see that picture on Thanksgiving night all the way in California.

I snapped this real quick with my phone, not the best quality of pictures, but I wanted to share with you.

 We ate till we were sleepy, went for a walk, and later went to the movies. The Farrums and I saw 12 Years a Slave. 

It was such a heartbreaking story that was agonizing to watch at times. At the beginning, the main character, Solomon was a free man in New York while slavery was going on all around him and the world yet he did nothing about it. After he was forced into slavery, he came into contact with several people who were sympathetic to him and wished they could do something but out of fear refused. While watching the movie I was reminded that the abomination of slavery continues in current time. We often times watch movies like 12 Years a Slave and think, "Whew! Glad those days are over!" but people everywhere are still being forced to do things against their will and without compensation. And just like Solomon, and his sympathizers I say and do nothing. I may buy fair trade coffee and sugar,  but I want and need to be more active regarding the plight of others all around the world.

The first step in which I need to make in taking this issue more seriously, is learning where my food, clothes and daily necessities come from and who is making them and how. I should probably take a stronger position politically (because as it stands, I am nearly apolitical and take hardly any stances at all about anything) and make sure there are stricter trade agreements. And I should acquaint myself with local organizations that are making a difference. I know of several orgs in my hometown that fight against modern day slavery though not in LA.

I am thankful for my freedom, but not at the expense of others, and I don't want to continue to blindly live my life as if everything fine and perfect.

One of my attempts to ensure a slave-free Christmas... I am trying to make as many of my gifts by my own hands as possible. So sorry, if you happen to receive one, haha. Fair trade items are more expensive, as they should be, and since I can't afford them all, this is my solution. (Tonight my friend is teaching me to crochet which is going a little better than I had expected. I am also making clay beads that I will paint tomorrow and make jewelry with. I have so many gift ideas... just you wait! haha)



Anonymous said...

I'm pleased my Grandpa made a cameo on your blog! I'm also loving your Christmas present ideas, Chelly!

Whitney Conard said...

Such great thoughts, Rachelle. Christmas is probably the worst time for seeing a glut of unethical products purchased. There are tons of garment factories here in Cambodia, and seeing the hundreds of girls going in to work and buying poor quality garments in the market that didn't meet the QA standards really made me think about where I buy things from. Even wrote a blog series about it! Kudos to you for going handmade!

Rachelle Hamilton said...

Farrah- Of course your gpa would be included on my blog, he is too too perfect. hehe

Whitney-I love reading your blog! I will definitely need to read your series on this subject. It is something I have read books about and watched movies about and have tried to research, though I feel powerless in my smallness. But I figure I can do my part, I just need to be more intentional about it and educate myself. Any tips or resources you know of?