19 November 2007

Generous Journal: Crisis!

Ok, I've been using the time excuse for too long - the reason for the lack of Generous Journal entries is that I'm in a massive rut. Yes, I am now adept at avoiding the dreaded plastic carrier bag. Yes, I am being careful not to waste water, electricity or any other resource. And yes, as ever, I'm still trying to shop ethically, be it Fairtrade goods, charity shop items or local produce. But now I'm stuck.

I have two choices: continue to develop my eco-warrior status or branch out into other forms of generosity. But I'm stumped for ideas either way. I don't want to focus on just one issue, but the thing about being green is that it is easier to think of things to do. Living ethically, supporting local people, general kindness - it's actually harder for me to know what to do in these areas.

My problem is I do things blindly, not really learning why it's so important. When talking about Fairtrade recently, a work colleague who had worked in parts of Africa told me that the Fairtrade movement is actually damaging the African economy and described it as 'a moral salve for the middle classes.' I wasn't won over by her arguments and wanted badly to argue back but I realised I didn't know as much about Fairtrade as I thought. I believe it is a good thing, but had no evidence to back this up when faced with her real life experience.

Basically, I'm having a generous crisis. I feel like I know nothing of the real issues behind my actions and could easily be doing more harm than good. But I've got so much to learn, where do I start?

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