When I wish I didn’t know something

Random fact: I always want to take a bath after I clean the tub.

Over the last two weeks I have read a lot of blog posts by people bringing social injustices to light. And it’s absolutely necessary to be made aware of what goes on beyond the four ‘walls’ of my world. I firmly believe that God reveals things to us in the time that He wants us to learn them.

Sometimes, though, I learn things that I wish I could unlearn. Yesterday was one of those days. I recently subscribed to the blog rageagainsttheminivan. It’s written by a woman named Kristen. She is a phenomenal writer and an accomplished woman. I love the perspective she brings to the Christian faith. Yesterday, Kristen posted an article about Halloween candy. And how I shouldn’t be buying chocolate candy from certain US manufacturers. You can read the article here. It’s devastating. And full of truth. And I wish I could say I am jumping on board with this. I want to, in my heart. But I love chocolate! And that is such a cheap and awful rationalization for wanting to eat chocolate candy that is made on the backs of children, the same age as my kids, working in horrible conditions.

I am wrestling with this. Am I going to stop eating chocolate now that I have this information? Would I even be able to enjoy chocolate? Or am I only not eating chocolate because I now would feel guilty about it? Is this feeling in my heart guilt that I am perpetuating the enslavement of children? Or is it false guilt over the blessings that God has given me rather than someone else? If it’s false guilt, that is from Satan and it’s designed to rob me of the joy I have in the Lord. I don’t know. So far, I haven’t eaten any chocolate since. And it’s not that I can never eat chocolate again, I just need to be conscientious about the types of chocolate I buy. And there are resources within Kristen’s article that identify what US manufacturers don’t support cocoa farms using children in their harvesting of cocoa.

So this is my dilemma. Now I have found out something that I didn’t know. And it’s something big to think about. I’ll keep you posted.



4 thoughts on “When I wish I didn’t know something

  1. Annette Bannister says:

    Well, it’s taken long enough for us to finally open our eyes and seek out the truth on this. Thank you for this post, Katie. I just finished watching the BBC Channel’s presentation on child labor in cocoa fields on the RageAgainsttheMinivan blog you linked to, and we are all going to Fair Trade Chocolate in this family. That basically means we will hardly be eating any chocolate at all, because it’s so darn expensive. My waist thanks you. I don’t know how I’m going to break this to my children, but I am going to pray about it. Hopefully they will be able to process this information.

    As to the issue of false guilt, I have been thinking about that in my spare moments. I think that we feel false guilt about enjoying good things God has given us instead of someone else, when someone else has simply made different choices in life. Maybe someone else chose to become a “starving artist” or a social worker (dare I add teacher or pastor??! 🙂 ), and part of the consequence of that choice is that their job does not pay as much as someone who went to several years of medical school and is a doctor. (What you’re worth to God and others and what you’re paid do not always match up.) So, a doctor may feel “false guilt” for having a bigger house than a teacher, but the doctor does not rob the teacher in order to have his bigger house. (In fact, his bigger house means he will surely be paying more into the school system!) He is not complicit in the choice of the teacher to become a teacher. So, his guilt is false. I am sure this is simplistic reasoning, and perhaps early Christians with their sense of community would disagree with me. These are shower thoughts.

    But in the case of chocolate, that guilt is right on. There’s nothing false about the fact that when I buy a chocolate bar, I am directly supporting a system that enslaves children to make this for me. I am robbing these children and families by paying less for non-Fair Trade chocolate, and the money I do spend supports the whole system that perpetuates their sad lives. For me, chocolate is a luxury at best and a destructive entity when I indulge too much. It’s definitely something I can give up. And I don’t even have to give it up. I just have to buy Fair Trade chocolate. Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner.

    Thank you for sharing this, Katie. No, it’s not a pleasant thing for me to know, and I’m sure this only touches the tip of the iceberg regarding all that we use in our home. I may be coming up against some of the more difficult decisions/sacrifices here soon as I research clothing and realize I can’t afford to clothe my family if I use non-child-slavery clothing brands. I understand your difficulty with this decision (especially when it comes to your kids). I hope you will find a way to do this. Blessings on you, my friend.

    • Thank-you for your sweet words Annette! They encouraged me. And I kind of feel like this is my one issue to think about now. As I told another friend, I am going to bury my head for a little while until my heart can handle another lesson on manufacturing outside the US.

  2. Annette Bannister says:

    I’m sorry if I sounded in ANY WAY self-righteous about something that I only decided to do three minutes ago. Kind-of-like the people who got angry that the Internet stopped working on the plane when they had just found out it was even available at all! Anyway, I’m sorry.

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