The Power We Have

Most of the chocolate we American eat is made using enslaved children.  Most of the television programming we watch is violent, immoral and materialistic.

It is because of us that those children are in slavery.  It is because of us that television programming is a cesspool.

Which would you prefer:  cheap candy or the freedom of the African children harvesting the cocoa?  The thrill of viewing murders, sexual come-ons and gluttony or television programming without those things?

If Americans simply refused to buy chocolate unless the company selling it refuses to use child-slaves in its production, then the practice would end.  The only thing the chocolate companies care about it profit.  If we don’t buy their products, then they make no profit.  All it would take it is a boycott of one holiday season and child slavery in chocolate production would end.  If Americans refused to buy any slave-made chocolate this Valentine’s Day, for example, the industry would cave immediately.  Despite how it seems sometimes, it is the consumer, not the producer, who ultimately calls the shots.  If those children stay in slavery, it is because we Americans prefer cheap candy to their freedom.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard good moral people complain about the immorality of television programs or the ugly effects of television advertising.  Yet very very few of them just turn the thing off.  No one forces us to watch television.  We don’t have it in our house and the absence of television certainly hasn’t ruined our lives.  I can only shake my head when I hear good people lamenting the state of television with one breath, then talking about the latest hit show–usually themed around violence, sexual immorality or both–with the other.  I can only shake my head when I hear good people complaining about the effect that incessant beer commercials have on our children and society, or the effect of incessant commercials designed to make people discontent with what they have by convincing them their life is incomplete without some wortheless crap they can’t afford.  If the good folks of America simply refused to watch television, or refused to watch it unless the programming and commercials weren’t destructive, then those practices would end immediately.  Imagine all those families reading together instead of sitting in front of a screen being brainwashed.  The only reason it doesn’t happen is because as a society we prefer images of immorality, greed and violence to evenings without them. 

These are just two examples of the things we have the power to change–at essentially no cost to ourselves at all.  With so little effort we could change the world, making it a better place.

It seems so obvious to me and I just can’t understand why we don’t do it.

Love Wins