How are you? It’s a question that have no easy answer these days. I was so shocked to see that it’s July already – is it me or does it feel like nothing yet everything really happened these past 4 months?
These past weeks, everything seems… hard. It’s been scary to see businesses I look up to crumble from the crisis. With every news of their closing down, I felt a personal stab in my heart. It’s as if the world is telling me purpose and idealism have no place in business – and that it’s crazy to even try.
I would be lying if the thought of quitting didn’t enter my mind more than once. On hard days, I thought longingly of the security of a job and not having the responsibility of so many families relying on us for their livelihoods.
In a world that judges our worth by what we make, it can seem daunting to stand up for what you believe in. Isn’t it funny that we’re taught to measure everything we do – but the things we value most as a society – breathable air, connection, dignity from honest work - can’t be counted?
I remember this poem from Robert Frost I used to love growing up:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
These words gave me strength when the worry is overwhelming. Instead of letting fear shut us down, we rolled up our sleeves and started a reforestation project and provided more employment in our villages. We even decided to expand to another island to provide direct relief for women who lost their livelihoods – but more on this soon.
Yesterday, I was talking to Mama Erni, our village champion in a refugee community we’ve been working with since last year in Flores. It hasn’t rained in weeks, making water that is essential for natural dyeing very hard to get. Yet I was surprised to see the improvements in their Indigo fabrics since our last training!
She grinned and cheekily told me that seeing the economic impact from SukkhaCitta, her husband is now learning the craft and helping her. I remembered thinking on our trip there last year how hard it is to be a woman in rural Indonesia where patriarchal structures prevail. Her story opened something in my heart. I realized then when there’s gratitude, worry cannot exist.
The work of social change is slow and hard. But in these little wins, are reminders of what it could be – and why it’s important to do the work.
So if you’re reading this and feeling like things are harder than it should be, hold on. Don’t stop. Keep believing. Know that you’re enough. Have the courage to stand apart and do what’s right. Listen to that little voice in your heart that things could be better. Because it can. Together, we can do great things.
PS. If you're interested to learn more about what we're doing to keep our artisans safe in this crisis and how you can help us, check out this post.