Monday, 6 December 2010
More thoughts on community and economy - Senator Bernie Sanders
This video is well worth your watching and considering.
As Christmas approaches, most of us will be buying some gifts and also the seasonable meat and vegetables to feed our families and guests.
This is a time to bless our community by purchasing from small local firms and producers - the farmers' market, the craftsman, the family-run shop.
A community is grown organically by systematic blessing. Sometimes locally grown produce and locally made artefacts cost more money than things made in China and flown across the world to be sold in a supermarket. There would be a reason for that, and it is likely to be related to the standard of living the producers can expect to enjoy. Anything small is more easily fixed and more easily maintained. Local systems are simpler and easier to safeguard. Local self-interest is easier to influence than self-interest on a remote and global level.
Thinking globally and acting locally; living simply and frugally, consuming very little; supporting local tradesmen rather than large international corporations; encouraging self-reliance and a good level of self-sufficiency in our own families - these measures will help to stabilise the terrifying economic slide we presently have in prospect.
I think sisters do not always appreciate what a crucial role we play in the shaping of society. Mention the word 'politics' and it translates instantly as 'Men; arguing - contention,' and sisters turn off, don't want to know. We think of ourselves as women of faith and prayer, but not as political activists; see that as not our place, something we leave to the men. It never occurs to us that whether we intend it or not, where we buy our children's toys and our clothes and our vegetables is political, and that politics is not a secular matter but is part of our discipleship.
If we read the Old Testament prophets, we notice God's grief and rage that the poor and needy are sold for a pair of sandals, hear Him cry woe and thrice woe to those who but house after house and field afte field until they have bought up everything and it all belongs to them. That's what Bernie Sanders is talking about. It is part of our faith. It's in the Bible. And what accumulates to consolidate or change it will be the innumerable individual decisions we make day by about where to get our carrots, our lamb chops and our underwear. Prayer changes things; and where we source the commodities for our households is a prayer.