Enjoy your Visit

Hey there, this is Ariah Fine, the author of the blog here. It’s not being updated regularly at the moment, I’m actually trying to move from a blog format to something that looks a little more like a conversation. Feel free to search and browse around and chime in with a comment on any of the old posts you find, I’ll be sure to comment back and engage in some conversation.

Life Ven Diagram

For you regular readers, I thought of a neat diagram to convey why I’m trying to take a break from blogging (Your probably saying this post and the others doesn’t really qualify as a break). I think you can understand the diagram so I won’t try and explain it.

I also spent a little bit of my creative time creating some banners for some of the better posts that I’ve written. Hopefully these will come together in some sort of worthwhile form.

Why I don’t Shop at Walmart
On Raising My Own Children
The False Charity of Clothing Drives A Major Flaw of Wheaton College

I’m also planning on beginning to podcast again, just short 5-10 minute deals, maybe a couple times a week. You can bookmark my podcast page or subscribe, or just check them out here:

Update: I’ve also added my YouTube Favorites Channel for your viewing pleasure. Check back regularly as I’ll be adding new videos constantly.

Flashback: Interview with Justice Clothing Owner (podcast)

I’m going to link to the original post for this one, you’ll want to check out the audio and show notes from this interview.

I had the wonderful opportunity this morning of interviewing Eric Odier-Fink of The Justice Clothing Company. Eric graciously gave me a bit of his time to answer some questions about Justice Clothing, Sweatshops, Unions and Fair Trade.

Listen to the Interview and read the shownotes here. 

A Brief Explanation

Thanks for the input everyone on my considering taking a blogging break. I figure I should give a bit of an explanation so you understand why I want to take a break (and so I can sort of figure it out myself). There’s a lot of reasons, here’s just a few…

Mostly, I’ve been trying to spend most of my waking hours with my beautiful baby in my arms, which has been good for all of us, but not good for my typing abilities.  My focus has changed quite a bit too, and I’m thinking a lot more about the baby and being a father and not so much about all the other issues that usually consume my thoughts. So, lack of time/attention is the first reason.

The second thing is that we as a family are going through some major changes (baby, parenting, jobs, moving, etc). Definitely things I want to write about, but not necessarily blog for the world.  It’s also giving me space to reconsider what activities/projects/blogs I’m giving my time to.

I’ve considered trying podcasting a bit, because it doesn’t require two hands to do. I’ve thought about doing web design as a side job. Once we move and the baby is a little bigger, I definitely plan on getting out more and getting involved in some community projects. I’d love to write a book or some other writing projects, rather then blogging, but maybe both.

Anyways, that’s enough for now. I’ll put another post up here later highlighting some of my favorite old posts on here, and maybe linking to a podcast or some other things. Alright, that’s about it.

Flashback: The False Charity of Clothing Drives

Originally Posted in February 2006

The story goes something like this:
A typical church in a well-to-do neighborhood is inspired by the stories shared by a visiting missionary. In an effort to contribute to the needs that the missionary has shared the church has a clothing drive and encourages members to donate their winter coats for those who don’t have a coat to keep warm. The drive is a wonderful success and the missionary sends word of how the coats have benefited the people she works with. This is a wonderful thing.
The following year, the church again encourages it’s members to donate their coats and clothing and again they fill boxes with used clothing and coats. Now we have a problem.

Why is this a problem? The needs of the community are being met, with coats and clothing coming their way. And to the degree that those needs are met it is hard to critique without being looked at poorly. Yet I will still address my concern about the church.

Let me entertain you with some questions:
1. Have you ever participated in a clothing drive?
Having heard about a need in the world, you recognized that you had more then enough for yourself, and you where compelled to share your possessions with those in need.

2. Look at your closet now. Does it reflect those same convictions that moved you to donate your clothes in the first place?

3. More specifically, if I looked at your closet now, would I be able to see your convictions reflected, or would I say you are a prime candidate for our next clothing drive?

See, the problem with clothing drives is that often they result in a “hand me down” sort of charity. We donate our old, out of fashion, and undesirable clothes and make room in our closets for the new wardrobe we’ve been eager to purchase. Not only do we physically clean out our closet, but do it in the name of “charity” as if these actions are a noble act of giving. (If I am not describing you, please don’t feel judged or feel the need to defend your actions). This is a “false charity.”

What am I suggesting instead? I would like to see convictions drive our actions, not events like a clothing drive. If you have two coats and you only need one, then you should give the other away. The next time there is a coat drive your only option should be to buy a new coat and donate that one to the coat drive, because the one you currently have you need. If you have more shoes then you need you should give them away, and if you have more clothes then you need you should give those away too.
A church full of people living out their convictions would have no use for a clothing drive (unless it was to collect new items), because every member would have already given away their excess.

“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”*

Trading Schools: Still Savage Inequalities

I recently brought up the topic of schools and Kozol’s documenting of the inequality in the public schools in the USA. I understand that if you don’t read the stories or see the pictures and the facts yourself it can be hard to believe at times. So, with the help of Oprah, I bring you some insight into the public schools:
What are your thoughts? Does this disparity make a difference in the type and quality of education one receives? Is it fair?

(ht: racialicious)