when we were young…

writing with passion, living with vision and acting with intention

Ready to have your bubble popped?


Life is beautiful ugly.

This paradox is so dumbfounding to me – to wrap my head around how I can scroll through my photo viewer looking at pictures of my precious boys, my generally happy life and then see photographs that bare testimony to how my comfortable existence is at times, directly linked to the suffering of millions of people in our world.bubble popped

I cannot ignore it.

I can’t even change it – not all of it.

I can acknowledge it and do what I can to live responsibly and with compassion and humility. It is no easy task for someone like myself who has grown up in the privileged first world where I can live freely. Freely – what does that even mean? Sometimes, we Canadians even start to feel oppressed – our government doesn’t have our best interest in mind; we are charged inflated prices for our electricity and hydro not to mention what the cell phone companies slam us with.

And it is injust, it isn’t right. But I am reminded again and again that these types of struggles can either serve to spawn more dissatisfaction, more grumbling, more anger, more unhappiness….or, they can be reminders that we have the luxury of living with such amenities! Again, not so easy when you open your $200 cell phone bill and $76 internet charges. But it’s all distraction because as long as we’re absorbed in our first world issues, we don’t have the time or energy to realize that we’re buying clothes from a line that pays pennies to workers as young as 12 years old in Bangladesh. And those people are the paid, to say nothing of the millions of people who are slaves all day long, every day of their lives.

And yet, we would rather not see this? Because it makes us uncomfortable? Because we cannot do anything about it?


My husband says we vote with our pocketbook. The day we refuse to buy Joe clothing or any other line that justifies the means by which it obtains its merchandise, even through the blood, sweat tears and yes, death of others, that is a day that humanity is one step closer to reclaiming the piece of us that is not superseded by selfishness and apathy. It is the day we demand to know not just what country our goods come from, but what type of working conditions produced them. It is the day we pop our “ignorance is bliss” bubble and seek to make a difference in our own lives as small as it might seem or be.

How does this make you feel? What will you do next?

Shine a light, take a stand, don’t turn a blind eye.



Author: whenwewereyoung...

A stay at home mom of two boys under two, love TED talks, swing dancing and of course, writing. When we were young is my sharing of motherhood, the beautiful, the ugly, the happy, the sad and the world my boys are growing up in.

17 thoughts on “Ready to have your bubble popped?

  1. Thank you for posting this! I’ll be honest – I never really think about where my clothes come from, or who makes them. I’m going to have to start doing some research on certain brands! Do you have any suggestions for brands that you do recommend?

    • I’m actually just figuring this out myself, Stacie. I know about Joe because of a radio show I listened to. Personally, I shop at thrift stores so I avoid that whole profit going directly to the manufacturer. That’s a good project though, to find out reputable and humane clothing lines and just manufacturers in general! Thanks for reading.

  2. I’m old enough to remember many years ago when there was a ‘movement’ in America to buy American made. That was before most of the factories closed. Yes, voting is based on $$. Politics make life ugly. Since I have been blogging, I have discovered so many organic, homesteader blogs, I have regained faith in people trying to preserve America!

  3. So completely agree! Food is also an important one. There is a growing movement even among urbanites to get back to the land, grow, gather and hunt so that we are once again connected with our food and not mindlessly eating supermarket garbage that perpetuates horrible living conditions for the livestock we eat, unsustainable fishing methods, low-paid farm workers and pesticide-ridden vegetables. It is more important now than ever before that we become more aware of where our goods come from and what went into producing them. I literally taught myself to knit last night in 10 minutes. For me, the more I can produce on my own, the better off I’ll be and the better off the world will be. Until complete self-sufficiency, however, your husband is right. We need to vote with our money. Sometimes that might mean paying a bit more for locally made clothing or free range eggs, but in the long run it’s better for all of us.

    • Yes, indeed. It’s an entire system we’ve built on the suffering of others. It makes me very disheartened. Good luck to you in your quest to become more self-sustaining!

  4. nice sentiments, but please don’t just leave it at shopping fairly… we’ll never shop, knit or garden people to freedom… let’s find an organization that makes a difference to those who treated worst…and get involved, or donate, or spread the word… Free The Slaves, International Justice Mission, Visayan Forum, Amnesty International for starters….

    • Absolutely, John M. I merely said that we’d be one step closer to bringing about change with conscious shopping habits. A massive issue such as this calls for extensive measures ranging in everything from our consuming habits to organizing a body with power to see change take place right where these atrocities are happening.

    • Thanks for reading! 😀

  5. I’m a far far ways from being enlightened on the scary sh-t in this world. Having children helps. Getting old helps. And reading columns like this helps too. (thank you!)

  6. I’ve never thought about where my clothes come from either… I do appreciate a good deal, but you’re right, I don’t want it to come at that huge expense to someone else. I’ll start looking into where I shop now! Thanks for this post.

  7. I agree with you. It’s important to be conscious of our consumer power and make choices that reflect our ethics. It’s harder to practice consistently, of course…

  8. This has been sort of a quiet issue nagging at me for awhile now. When I first starting paying attention to this issue it seemed such a massive issue to tackle. I totally agree with your hubby that we can all vote with our pocketbook. Informed consumerism at its best!

  9. I’ve been looking into many of these types of topics and have found that often the more questions you ask, the more questions you end up with – it’s so overwhelming! I’m right there with you on the second hand clothing. Especially with my girls, hand me downs are king! They light up when a new bag comes in the house and will spend hours sifting through and trying things on. They have no clue that it’s not brand new (or even what that means), and I’m hoping it always stays that way!!

    • That image of your girls looking through a bag of hand me downs brings back memories for me, Heather! It is a matter of perspective hey. And you are so right, you delve into one area of concern with how our society operates and it’s a big can of worms. And as one of my readers already said, clothing is just one issue! But, you tackle what you can right.

  10. Powerful post ~ we certainly do vote with our pocket books!

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