Wednesday, November 30, 2005

awaken, sleeper

Our small group has been reading a novel called Under the Feet of Jesus. The story is about a girl and her family that resort to agricultural labor camps when they can no longer pay for their apartment. We have discussed the feeling of becoming awakened. In the novel we get another side of a story usually told by marketing people. We see that their is no such thing as cheap produce. If we don't feel the cost, be guarateed that someone does. For us to have bananas for 30 cents a pound there has to be cheap gas for transportation and an underpaid labor force working and living in abhorrent conditions. I don't feel particularly good about being awakened to this sort of thing. I don't want to imagine the other hands that have touched the fruit I think I can pay for. I don't want to imagine the lives that I have impoverished. I can't afford that for 30 cents a pound.

In the story the main character stands up. She stands up for her life and for the life of her loved ones. I need to remember that daily. I have the choice to objectify or humanize in every interaction, in each purchase. As the seamen warns Jonah, "awaken, sleeper." There is a storm and the boat is threatening to capsize.


billy said...


Thanks for this post-I don't think that I can afford the cost either. It seems so difficult to do anything in our society that does not negatively impact someone else. I guess the first step is becoming more conscious, so thanks for helping me down that road. Please continue to help me see where it leads.........

ryan k said...

Jodie and I have been trying to make an effort to pay more for bananas (90 cents per lb), but it still takes a certain amount of faith to actually believe that the extra 60 cents will find those who grew and picked the bananas and will come to pay them a living wage. So we're trying to grow our own bananas.