I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, thinking about the state of the economy, the new president, job security. It’s a very scary thing when politicians and economists start throwing the “R” word around. Suddenly everyone panics and purse pockets are locked tight. Someone was quoted in the Idaho Statesman not long ago that 2009 was going to be a “bloodbath” of dying retail shops. What a lot of people don’t realize that it’s not just the US who is suffering – this recession has far reaching effects, touching the entire globe. In speaking with my family and friends all over the world, I can see how it is affecting them as well. The world is getting smaller and countries are no longer isolated. What hurts us, hurts us all.
People and countries alike are all looking to newly elected President Barak Obama to help fix our woes. But should we really be putting so much faith into one man? Is he going to be able to turn things around now before things get any worse? Personally, I can’t see it happening. He is just a human, after all, with no super hero powers to speak of. Should we put so much faith into an ordinary man with an extraordinary title?
That got me thinking some more. I wanted to know if there was something that I could do. But what could that be? Should I only be interested in looking out for myself and my family? Should I act like there is no recession and keep on doing what I’m doing? Then I thought that maybe I could use my shopping decisions to make a difference. Maybe if I tried harder to buy more handmade items, especially if they are local, I could not only fulfill my needs, but also help out other people in the community in which I live and the handcrafting community in general. It helps put money into the pockets of people like you and me; people like stay-at-home moms and those with natural creative gifts. That makes much more sense than giving it to large, cookie-cutter department stores with their cookie-cutter wares. Not that they don’t have their place in our community, but there is so much more out there.
I know that I’m only one person, but I think that I still can make a small difference, even if it’s only for me and a handful of others. I can help to influence my children to make wise choices. And maybe those that I have touched will go on to touch others, to spread the word on buying local and handmade. More and more people are starting to turn to handmade to supplement their incomes. They are looking to the rest of us for support. When the world crumbles down around us, we only have each other.