I often look at life in the context of ratios. When it comes to helping people, I consider the amount of work you have to put into something compared to the results. Sure, this might be unhealthy, but indulge me for a second.
For example, I might help someone with a car broken down along the road. The amount of work it requires of me is maybe a 3 out of 10. It’s a very mild inconvenience. And the impact it might make on their day is maybe a 7, but really in the scope of their life, liberty, and freedom, it’s hardly a 3 (unless they are having a really bad day and need a pick-me-up, then it’d be a 5). Thus the amount of work is low, but the overall impact is also low. (I’d say it’s still worth doing, of course!)
Real change usually takes real work. If I want to produce a 10, I need to put in a 10. For example, check out the work being down by IJM missionaries. They are producing real work in the world’s toughest places, but they are sacrificing much of their own peace and joy along the way.
If you want to produce a 10 you have to give a 10. That’s how change ratios work. Real change is almost always a 10:10 ratio.
But then there’s fair trade.
I have to be honest, I’m relatively new to the whole fair trade band wagon. I don’t know a lot about the details surrounding fair trade, but I know enough to know that fair trade is extremely important. Which is why I recently decided to only buy fair trade coffee.
Did you know that coffee and chocolate is directly connected to the modern day slave trade?
Did you know that purchasing fair trade is the difference between supporting farmers who work to care for their families vs. farmers who force the poor to work for their land?
I would say purchasing one kind of coffee instead of another is probably a mere 1 on the personal impact scale (let’s be honest, it’s a 0.25). It really doesn’t take very much effort. Yet, the impact this decision has on the world – well, it could literally be a 10 for someone selling coffee on the front lines! Especially if enough people do it, and we are able to shift the global markets!
There really isn’t very many change ratios as good as 1:10.
So when you buy a coffee, look for the label. And refuse to buy coffee that doesn’t have it. It’s simple but it’s life-changing for those on the other side.
Still not convinced? Learn more here:
Why Now Is the Time to Start Drinking Fair Trade Coffee.