Lately I have not been able to watch or listen to the news. I am in worry overload. I have to leave the room when the news is on, and find something more positive and joyful to do. (Usually the dishes, but I add music that I love to cheer me on, and I play it loud!)
Every day the news seems just full of overwhelming difficulties, and so much unnecessary and deadly conflict, and I feel completely worried and powerless.
Just lately I have decided instead to create a new more joyful habit.
Instead of worrying about all the things that I cannot possibly change, I am going to happily make changes in very small things, things that I do have the power to change, and I have decided to seek joy in these small changes.
Just the small act of buying coffee in a reusable coffee mug. I could let my mind think about the millions of disposable coffee cups that we Australians throw out every single day, but instead I am training my mind to focus on what I can do to change my own behaviour, and I take a mug to the coffee shop. I find my coffee stays much warmer longer, and I enjoy drinking from the mug, which is much more pleasant than drinking from a waxed paper cup, and sucking coffee through a plastic lid. Focusing on the advantages of the reusable coffee mug, brings me joy and makes me happy. An easy joyful change.
"I drink Wild Timor Coffee because it fills two cups.
Mine, and the farmer's.
I have also discovered that Wild Timor Coffee is yummy. I LOVE it. I does not cost me any more than my previous beans, and it brings me joy to drink it. I know that the Wild Timor Team consider the people who grow their beans as their friends. They used the funds that they generate through the coffee sales to build two clean water tanks in the village of Belumhato in East Timor, and to provide $5000.00 of school uniforms for 70 school girls in Oecusse, so that the cost of the uniforms did not keep those girls out of school. They have also funded roads and structural changes to a local birthing centre, as well as providing aid after a storm blew the local school building away. Drinking this coffee adds to the joy of my morning brew, and I think of those young women in their clean school uniforms as I drink, and I smile. Another easy joyful change.
This Easter, I intend to be organised, and not create the need to rush in to Coles at the last minute and buy some sugary, bright coloured, and temptingly cheap chocolate eggs.
West Africa and Brazil supplies around 70% of the worlds cocoa. It is in the big powerful chocolate companies interests to keep the cost of the cocoa as low as possible. Their own profit margins are beyond huge, Bloomberg estimates the income of Mars Foods as being more than 40 Billion in 2021. Their consistent downward pressure on price forces African farmers into the undignified use of a child workforce.
In 2001 a US study estimated that 109,000 children were working in Cote de Ivoire, where 40% of our world's cocoa is grown, and more than 2 million children worldwide are working in cocoa production. This work includes using machetes, dangerous chemicals and carrying heavy loads. Children in Ghana are sold to the Cocoa growing industry by traffickers for $34.00 per child.
I can't control these circumstances, but I can step out of it.
I am going to joyfully change my habit. I can afford to purchase some yummy Tony's Chocolate. It is $7.95 for a huge 180gm bar, and totally delicious! So very very good!
For my beautiful grandchildren, I have already stashed some Cocoa Loco Easter eggs. This makes me smile, and I know that children their age have not been working to pick and haul the cocoa my own grandchildren are eating.
As I watch my grandchildren this Easter while they are eating their chocolate I am going to smile, because the chocolate they are eating is much yummier, and is made with measurable ethics and fairness. Another easy, joyful change.
1. Wild Timor: Social Programs