Sunday, 10 February 2013

Something for nothing! - Quality costs


 Fair Trade 'Divine' chocolate.

We had an interesting 'sermon' about Fair Trade this morning. The gentleman giving the talk raised some simple but powerful points which I think are worth repeating.
First of all for your information Lent begins on Wednesday this week and traditionally people are encouraged to do something to focus on Christianity during the build up to Easter. It has been the habit of many to 'give something up' for Lent and one of the favourites has been giving up chocolate. Our speaker was quite correct when he said that this is not something you are doing for God but for yourself rather like a New Year's Resolution. This is true for all such self-inflicted privations. The second point he made was that 75% of the World's cocoa comes from 3rd World countries and so reducing chocolate sales hits the poorest in the world. 
The message is - do something positive for Lent. Examples could be as simple as read your Bible everyday; buy Fair Trade products; or, perhaps set aside time for personal reflection. Last year I studied the Book of Revelations and focussed my attention by writing a related Haiku each day. It was a bit of a tall order!

The second point he made was that much of the problem with horse meat in Findus Lasagne and burgers is down to people wanting something for nothing. It seems to be part of human nature that if we can pay as little as possible for food we have achieved something. Yet it is obvious that if you buy packaged goods the wrappings have to be paid for and so if you are buying extremely cheap processed foods then you cannot expect best steak.

When we write we have a duty to ourselves to produce the best quality we can and therefore we may demand a realistic price for our efforts. The Steele novels that I have written are a journey that I have embarked upon and it is always in my mind about quality as well as content and I'm sure all my writing friends feel the same. So it is annoying when you come across the negative attitudes sometimes expressed about Indie authors. Writing independently of the currently accepted norms within publishing does not mean that what is being produced is not quality.

So keep going folks!

Don't forget don't give up chocolate for Lent!

God Bless