People matter

  • by 100 Good Things
  • October 7th, 2015
  • October

One of the best things of my job is the people I meet. I said this when I was a travel and wellness writer and had the opportunity to meet visionary, passionate changemakers. And I say this now, in my capacity as a social entrepreneur. I have always been drawn to “the human angle.” Hearing their stories inspires me to do more, to get out there and live the change I want to see.

I remember vividly a life-changing road trip that demonstrated, in a most down-to-earth manner, what really resonated with me.

That afternoon, I chanced upon a wake on a visit to a small, nondescript village off the capital city of Laos. I found the village’s womenfolk had congregated at an open space, cooking up a storm for visitors and the village in general. I was invited to partake in the festivities and sample their feast. Life was slow and incredibly simple, and their laughter and infectious camaraderie, far-reaching. I felt their sense of kinship keenly. Their heartfelt hospitality left a warmth posh hotels could not rival.

That moment, I was connected to another community not too far removed from us. Who, like you and I, harbor dreams and aspirations.

Truth be told, with little talent for foreign language, I can barely communicate with the impoverished communities I work for. Fortunately, empathy transcends language barrier. At where I live, in multiracial Singapore, English is the first language. For so many Third World economies at my backyard, being fluent in the working language of the world is an aspiration many cannot afford.

Prak Vichra the self-taught seamstress pictured here is now able to send her only child, now 12 years old, for English lessons. The widow aspires to lift herself and her family out of poverty. Receiving a livable wage from the social enterprise she works for makes this a reality. Her life is explicitly better because of a work that empowers her and eventually her community.

Would the world become a far richer, less divisive place if sustainability were a standard? Why should it be a lofty idea? You and I can collectively make a difference. People matter. Your purchase matters.

The ethically and sustainably produced merchandise at 100 Good Things are sourced with care, consciousness and understanding. To purchase them, visit 100 Good Things store.

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