What Does Work Mean to You?
Oh, Labor Day. What a fantastic day to kick your feet up, grill out and enjoy a day away from your 9-5. I love a good excuse to rest even though I’m not very good at it!
As a small business just getting started, there’s always the desire to get ahead, work harder, and contemplate the next move. Pair that with anxiety, working multiple jobs, and being 8mo pregnant, rest is something that is pretty hard to come by right now. And yet, I know that if I feel like this amidst the security and comfort of living and having a business in America, I can only imagine what our Artisan Partners feel like overseas.
There is nothing more perspective shifting than being able to work with people from different parts of the world. You see first-hand how very different our needs and desires are based on things like geography, race, gender and access. Many of our Partners have the most basic of needs for things we could never even contemplate; like food, shelter, safety and work. That isn’t lost on me at Trove. In fact, it’s the very foundation for why this company was created. You can read more about our foundational pillars here.
I believe in working hard for what you want in life. And yet I also know that hard work doesn’t always pay off. Not for some people. There is too much dignity lost and integrity that isn’t upheld. This is something that translates to the states, just on a different level. In most cases, our level of need even for these intangibles is at least humane. In many developing countries this is the rule, not the exception. There are so many people desperate for work that they are often exploited. That’s why we believe in the work we’re helping provide and ensuring that we abide by the Fair Trade Principles.
Here's the deal, I want work to feel different for people everywhere – both here in the US and for our Partners overseas. I want work to be a source of joy and dignity. I want it to be a place that brings life and good self-esteem back to an individual, a family or even a community. I want people to feel valued and proud of their skills. I want talents and techniques to be shared and celebrated, not dismissed or taken advantage of. And at the base level, I want people to feel safe and dignified. I can’t do this alone. I need others to start thinking the same way and to understand the importance of a good job no matter where you are in the world.
So today, I encourage you to relish in your day off, but also spend some time thinking about work. Contemplate the bigger questions like; is my work just a means to a good livelihood? Is it where my identity lies? Do I feel dignified in my work? And do I see the significance and difference of work in my world and the world? Life’s too short to not make it count, friends. Let's do the work we need to in order to do the work we want to.