As holiday shopping is well upon us, I wanted to share a few thoughts about consumership during the Giving-Season.
Every business has values. The question is: does the business have transparency of those values?
When you spend a dollar, it is a vote for that business, which in turn becomes a dollar for the values of that business or the people profiting from that business. Do they reinvest in the community, the environment, coal, out-sourcing employment or otherwise?
When a CEO speaks out about their values, I applaud them as someone who’s willing to communicate those values clearly, regardless of whether those values match ours or not. Starbucks, Apple, Target, Sales Force, and more, to name a few. They are taking a big risk at loosing stock or customers because the values are controversial, but they are providing transparency and education to a consumer base.
However, far more often then not, companies cower against the idea of publicizing values. And customers appreciate that. We turn a blind eye for the cost of convenience. Blissful. We cannot all prioritize awareness all of the time, this I understand. But, whether we know it or not, we are affecting a corner of the world, every day through consumership, and this is worth knowing.
With that said, there is much to celebrate!
"Unknowing" (of our dollar's value towards a cause) is something we can all resolve, and fairly quickly, at that. In this society, beautiful in so many ways, information is at the tips of our fingers. It's a simple daily decision to research the retailers, restaurants, hotels, airlines, artists, etc into which we pour our hard earned savings; Each dollar a vote, each day another chance.
The conversations to change this world are passionate. Intimate parties with strong resolve sit over dinner, drinks, conferences. Brands are increasingly creating dialogue with customers. This is wonderful expression of freedom and resolve to progress, yet, there is a smoldering irony: The dollars that supply for these interactions (drinks, venue, food, gas) often have directly opposing values to the unknowing party so vehement for change.
We all fall prey to this daily contradiction of action vs unknowing.
We hear it everyday. The question. "What do we do?"
The answer lies in the rhetoric we learned (along with everything else) in Kindergarten- "You cannot change the world until you change yourself," or some version of the concept.
How easy it is to speak out for an issue with all the fervency in the world, while voting in direct opposition with your dollar. This is the conundrum in which we've entangled ourselves.
So, until you know that as much of your dollar as possible is going into the values you believe in, it's very difficult to ask someone else to change their values and actions. Change happens slowly, never linearly, but always occurring. And, you are inseparable from that change. Don't let anyone tell you there's nothing you can do. Whether you want to or not, you are doing something every moment of every day, which effects the direction of this world.
Educate yourself first about the impact of your dollar. Money is a dominant language of society. Regardless of whether money is central or unimportant in your personal life, for any economical, cultural or societal change you'd like to see, there will always be the need for finance. With every purchase, you are either for or against environmental preservation, the Standing Rock Pipeline, immigration policy, women's rights, gun rights, and so on. Because, once again, every business has values, it is simply a matter of your choice to pay attention and ask the questions.
If you are a business or a person with influence, strongly consider transparency. As a well-respected business or community member, people gravitate towards you and may be eager to learn about and possibly share your values. Understand the impact of your voice, your media, the persona you display on a daily basis.
Last week we posted our misson statement as we head into the New Year:
UGo Bars stands for INCLUSIVITY and spreading mass empathy to the best of our ability. To us, this is simply human. It’s as naturally our right as it is our right to access to healthy food. To us this is inseparable. This is why UGo Bars has always been, and will continue be, more than a snack bar. It’s a way of life- straightforward, gritty, and uncomplicated.
UGo is not political vehicle. Politics does not define us, nor our customers. (We simply hope you enjoy the convenience of a delicious, unique, handcrafted snack bar.) We draw from variety of viewpoints and intend to truly listen, especially to differences. UGo stands to build a path to help us all feed our bodies and minds the best way possible, no matter what life brings us.
We stand behind our mission to continue the development of a (better-fed!) worldwide community, by encouraging positive dialog centered around:
to which we believe, life begs the question: “Where Will UGo Today?”
Happy Holidays, and may joy and gratitude fill you!
Founder / Owner
(Please do contact us with your thoughts or personal missions as part of the community.)