Friday, December 2, 2016

The Child Nobody Asked For

"But we love each other!" What's the worst that can happen? You get pregnant? It happens all the time. You can just get married, have the baby, and you all will live happily ever after, right?

Wrong. So so very wrong. Let me tell you what it is like to be The Child Nobody Asked For.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you wonder how different your family's life would have been if you had never existed. Did you cement their plans, or smash their dreams? Would they have been better off without you?

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you don't see yourself as a precious gift from God. You see yourself as an inconvenience. You know are not one for whom your parents prayed.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you see yourself as a problem to be fixed, a past to be redeemed from. Your every sin is proof of your parents' rebellion, your every gift only a validation for their decisions. You aren't loved for who you are, but for the promise you bring of redemption... if only you can fulfill it.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you're no one's favored child. You're not the one on whom they dote. You're not the one that is shielded, protected, and sheltered. You're not the one for whom no one could ever be good enough.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, God as a Father means a god who cares for you only because He has to... not because He wants to. You're an inconvenience, a thorn in His side. And God as a Nurturer means a god who is grooming you to be who He wants you to be, not loving you for who you are now.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, no relationship remains untainted by fear. You fear to ask for help, because you might be an inconvenience yet again. You fear that every friend you have is only there out of some sense of duty, that they wish to leave the conversation... leave you entirely. You fear that no one will ever ask for you.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, every single aspect of your life seems to demonstrate to you that you're not desired. That you are not wanted. You are a duty, an inconvenience, a responsibility forced upon the unwilling.

When you're The Child Nobody Asked For, you can never be the same as the rest.

Yes, you may love each other. But the real question is, do you love me: your future child? Is this really the future you want to force upon me? Nevermind how pre-marital sex makes dissatisfaction in marriage just short of certain. Nevermind birth control and how it greatly reduces your chances of having children at all, let alone healthy and happy ones.   What about when the birth control doesn't work? What about that one time when you skip it in a moment of passion? Is this really the life you want for me?

God has redeemed me and shown me how most of what I believed about myself due to being The Child Nobody Asked For was a lie, and praise to Him for it. This is not about pitying me, but about demonstrating how devastating it really is to be a child born out of wedlock in hopes of encouraging couples to reconsider promiscuity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

No longer #1

While reading “Resolution for Women” this morning, I was asked some questions that… well… I didn’t want to answer. We all have chapters we don’t read aloud, and certainly not to anyone else.

The author was talking about how she found herself basing a large part of her identity on small, inconsequential things, whether they be cultural statements like her weight or her appearance, or something that happened in her past that has changed the way she has lived her life ever since. And then she asked me to see what things in my life were that way; what things did I blow way out of proportion and consequentially use to smother out things that were actually important… actually me.

It is hard being the oldest, especially in a large family. You start out the smartest, the best, the most capable, #1 at everything and in everyone’s mind. And then your little brothers and sisters grow up and find themselves, their gifts and their talents, and every time they do, they steal that little bit of you away. Well, that is how it feels. And whereas you want them to grow up and be happy, so much so you sacrifice a lot of your own happiness (usually unnecessarily) helping them find themselves, on the other hand you wish they would stay little and let you stay the best. So much of how you see yourself is wrapped up in what you can do, what you’re good at, that it is hard to watch as your little siblings surpass you (especially when you were probably the one to introduce them to it in the first place). Seeing yourself that way isn’t healthy at all, and it is not like it is anyone’s fault that this has to happen, but it still stinks.

Vaguely, I remember the day when I still felt beautiful. I remember, when I was about 7, having this red dress. It was a beautiful dress and I loved it. It had long sleeves and a full skirt, just perfect for twirling in. I would spin and spin in the church narthex, and, being the pastor’s kid and one of the only kids in church, I would get smiles and compliments from all the old ladies and gentlemen. I shone.

Right about then, my little sister was growing up and learning to shine, too. I loved having a little sister to teach how to twirl and spin, have tea parties, and play house. But, it wasn’t long before it became obvious (well, to me) that she was a lot prettier than me. Boys started noticing her and talking about her right in front of me. I remember one of them telling me, “You’re fun to play with, but Hannah is the pretty one.” And, maybe it was all in my head, but I always felt that my dad felt the same way. Suddenly, I wasn’t the prettiest anymore. I was second-best, and no one was choosing me.

That summer, I remember looking out my bedroom window to see my mom selling that red dress to a stranger at her garage sale. It devastated me. For me, that dress was all that was left of the days when I felt beautiful. Wearing that dress made me feel like, maybe, if I tried hard enough, someone would still choose me. And, though I knew that it no longer fit and I couldn’t wear it anymore, it symbolized the end of those days.

That was the day I first stopped trying. If everyone was always going to pick someone else first, why bother? Who wants to be second-best?

And so it continued down the line. My brother was better at sports, my next brother at art. My next sister was prettier still and had charm to boot. By the time I got married, the only thing I was still the best at… was cleaning and caring for the babies. So while this sister was asked to organize the family vacation, and that brother to create an art piece, I was left doing the dirty work, as I saw it. Did I realize then that cleaning and caring for children were the gifts I was going to need the most as a mom? No. All I saw was that I was always second-best, that no one was ever going to choose me.

I remember the first time my now-husband came to visit my family. I had met him at summer camp, the only place I went without my two sisters. Therefore, I was terrified. I was terrified that as soon as he saw my sisters, he was going to forget all about me… just like countless other guys had done. In fact, I was so sure that that was what he was going to do, I was preparing myself to be happy for my sister, since I wasn’t one to try to deprive them of happiness out of vengeance. They were still my sisters, after all. But, that isn’t what happened. And, for the first time I can remember since I was 7, someone chose me.

Suddenly, it was worth taking the time to be beautiful, because he thought I was. Suddenly, it was worth the effort to be smart, because he cared for my opinion. Suddenly, I was no longer second-best, and that meant everything.

You think that that would last, especially since we’re now married and he chooses me over and over again every day. But, one exception in hundreds of cases wears off really fast. It didn’t start a trend, it didn’t change the fact (as I see it) that I am not worth being chosen, being singled-out, being noticed, being loved. I am just another face in a crowd, one in 7 billion people desperately wanting to be noticed. And I rotate between not trying at all, and trying way too hard; between throwing other’s opinions to the wind (which usually ends up in my hurt and anger spilling all over after having been hidden and undealt with for so long) and being a people-pleaser (which always ends in tears because someone inevitably reminds of my bad reactions when hurt, or my inability to be “okay”, or decides that my hurt or my passions are not worth it)… both of which just make things worse.

And why should I believe anything different? Why would anyone chose to love someone who is incredibly hurt and suffering with no idea how to fix it? Why would anyone chose to single-out someone who is totally ordinary? Why would anyone notice someone who has no noticeable talent, no noticeable beauty, no noticeable anything but pain and loneliness? The only time I’m noticed is when I act out, and then I’m told to shut up and go back to work. I have to choose between people being mad at me and ignoring me. When I do voice my pain in an honest, non-abrasive manner, culture tells me my pain doesn’t count because of the color of my skin, most of my friends end up telling me it doesn’t count because they ignore it, and those who do say something might be there for a day or two but always end up finding something more worth their time. At the end of the day, I am left with my husband (who is currently my only lifeline) and maybe my grandmas… who I love tremendously, but they’re my grandmas. I could be the most worthless nobody in the world, and I would still be the light of their life, which is occasionally reassuring… but usually just goes to show how worthless I am if they are the only ones there for me.

Maybe being #1 isn’t what matters. Maybe I should try because I was indeed made the way I am for some ambiguous purpose. Maybe being yourself is much more valuable than being #1. But when “yourself” needs a lot of help and the world keeps rejecting it, is it really worth it? All I know is that I am no longer #1.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Billy Graham and the Alligator (or: Whatever happened to kindness?)

As many of you know, this last week a little boy was stolen from the beaches of Disney World by an alligator right in front of his parents and the story basically broke the internet. Loud, brash, and mean people looking for someone to blame screamed across the worldwide web at Disney, at the alligator, and even at the child's parents! The sick and twisted idea that these parents deserved some greater punishment than watching their child snatched from life right before their eyes, no matter what they did or did not do, has led many to ask, "Whatever happened to kindness?"

They claim, and I am inclined to believe, that this country used to be filled with kind people who understood that parenting is hard, that keeping track of a toddler is virtually impossible, and that child-proofing anything is a myth. That people rejoiced with those who rejoiced and wept with those that wept. "Whatever happened to our country?" they ask.

In my opinion, the answer to that question has it's roots in the 70s. Back in those days, there was a man named Billy Graham who toured the country holding giant revivals in the tradition of his spiritual predecessors: Billy Sunday and Dwight L. Moody. Thousands of people would gather to hear the name of Jesus and answer His call. Then, Graham would pack up his operation and move on to the next town, leaving all of his new converts to fend for themselves. For that is what they were: converts, baby Christians, disciple-wannabes. With no direction as to where to turn, where to go, and who to listen to, they scattered like leaves to the wind, blown about by every wind of anything that sounded spiritual. Some made it to the churches of Christ, soon to be grounded in truth and pure doctrine. But, the majority of them, with their new-found fervor and fire, found the orthodoxy of established religion to be dry and stale, and so they began their own churches of new Christians. However well meaning their communion, the lack of teaching beyond the very basics presented by Graham bred a onslaught of false doctrines, confused beliefs, and half-truths pervading the Church.

Don't get me wrong, I don't blame Billy Graham for this. He was an evangelist. He did his job well and a great many benefited from it. And I don't blame the converts, for what else were they to do? I might blame the churches for failing to follow through with these disciples-to-be, but how could they have been prepared for the stampede of converts following in The Crusade's wake? No, this is not about assigning blame, but discovering the truth so we can learn and grow from it.

So, now we have thousands of converts. Some found their way into established churches who understood Biblical teaching. Some founded their own churches that followed a pseudo-Christianity, fervent in passion but flawed in doctrine. And some fell to the wayside, jaded by the emotional high followed by no lasting truth or help. For now, let's focus on the Revivalists: those who started the revival-based churches.

These converts soon settled down, intermarrying and raising good little revivalist babies. They founded their own seminaries, forged their own ways of thinking, and began a new brand of Christianity that spread in popularity so much as to pervade the previously stoic and stale-seeming orthodox churches. The fervency of passion and desire in their hearts to please God was admirable, their youth covetable, and their doctrinal differences... minor. Or so it seemed.

Slowly, things started going bad. Very bad. The children raised in the passion of revival began leaving the Church in droves. Even some of the original members began to complain of burn-out and fatigue. These members of the Bride of Christ were growing tired in their marriage as the passion died and settled into mundane hum-drum life. They longed for the fervency of their first love, the butterflies in their stomach at the name of Jesus, the passion that invaded their everyday lives and empowered them to do great things. The Church began longing for revival.

To fix this, the Church began to establish ways of repeating the emotional high of revival. Summer camps for the kids, retreats for the adults. These things instilled a new life into the attendants and rejuvenated them for a week, or maybe even a month before they started to fade again. Their entire spiritual life consisting of highs and lows, the Revivalists (using my meaning of the term here) knew not that what they were experiencing was closer to high-addicted druggies they shunned in their youth than a fulfilling Christian life. Their lives became a vicious cycle of highs followed by crashes and self-guilt trips for their lack of passion which drove them to yet another conference, summer camp, or retreat.

So, in the course of a single generation, Christianity came to mean living a life all out on fire for Christ. And in the low times, when passion was gone and life was hard, the Christian had to find something else to hold onto to know he was saved. He needed assurance of salvation. But where was it to be found? No one really knew. They had never needed it before... They scoured the Scriptures for verses that spoke to them and eased their guilt-ridden consciences and formed doctrines off them. Some believed that once you were saved, you could never be unsaved, and therefore continued their lives in debauchery. "I prayed the prayer at Billy Graham's Crusade. I am saved to live my life in Christian freedom. That means I can do basically whatever I want... as long as it isn't too bad." Some believed that you could find assurance in your works. "I am a good person. I follow all of God's rules and make sure my kids do, too. Well... most of the time". Suddenly, people began to doubt their salvation, and they looked inside themselves to find it. But all they found were hearts full of sin and empty of passion for the Lord.

Some therefore decided they weren't saved, and reprayed the prayer. They rededicated their life to God, and received a small dose of emotional satisfaction. Of course, it didn't last for long. The passion would die, so they would rededicate... again.

Some therefore decided they needed to get their lives together so God would once again bless them with the passion they desired. "If I just turn from my wicked ways and pray to God, then He will hear me. Then, He will give me passion and fire. Then, He will heal my broken heart." They fell into the realms of legalism, trying to prove to themselves they were worthy. Of course, they weren't. So, they made themselves feel better by comparing themselves to those they deemed lesser Christians. Christians who weren't on fire like they were. Christians who didn't really really follow the Scriptures like they did. Christians who didn't raise their kids in the fear of the Lord like they did. And every time they compared themselves to others, they fell just a little bit further into their sin. And every time their sin became apparent, they lowered the standard a little bit further. "At least, I'm not like THOSE people." Soon, it became a game in comparison. Christian against Christian, and Christian against the world. Judgement, hatred, and (most especially) pride took over the Church. Why? Because to humbly accept their own sin would be to acknowledge that they were indeed not living their lives for Christ the way they should, and for them... that would be to question their salvation.

When you have a world bent on destroying everything resembling Christ (as Satan, the Prince of this World is), a Church full of judgemental hateful people officially shuts out any hope of society being loving and kind. Pointing fingers, demanding judgement, and comparing become the norm and kindness and empathy become a thing of the past.

So, there you have it folks. That's what happened. But, what do we do now?

What if I told you that you don't find assurance of salvation by looking at yourself. What if I told you that your salvation has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with Christ? Does that scare you? Or does that set you free?

See, we're not saved because of anything we've done... including pray a prayer or make a decision. We're saved solely by the grace and mercy of God. He is the One who paid the penalty for our sin. He is the One who called us. And He is the One who gave us the faith to believe that all this is true.

That's not to say that He doesn't extend faith to the unbelievers. Oh, He most certianly does! Every time the Word is heard, He brings faith (for that is how faith comes, after all). But, some refuse it. They see Him coming and turn and run right to Hell.

That is not to say that if they don't. they chose to stay. No, Scripture says no one chooses good, let alone God. If we are saved, it is because of God. If we are damned, it is because of us. It might seem paradoxical... but so does the Trinity, or the Deity of a the Son of man, or justice and mercy working together... The Bible is full of paradoxes, of which this is chief.

When your passion fades (which it will), when your butterflies settle down (which they will), when you find yourself once again fallen on your face (which you will), turn to the promises of God. He has promised salvation to all who believe. Believe in the Gospel, solely by the grace of God, and you will be saved. Christianity is not about your passion, it is about His. Christianity is about daily living in humble repentance and walking after Christ through His power, not your's. A lot of the time it will be boring, a lot of the time it will be hum-drum, a lot of the time it will feel like you're just going through the motions. Sometimes, it will feel like the last thing on earth you want. But, He didn't compare it to a marriage for nothing. If you really want to understand this part better, read Hosea.

And, as for the finger-pointing...

When we are daily living our lives in humble repentance, we see that our lives are just as broken as anyone else's. It no longer is a game of comparison, but a life of empathy and love. When we see those struggling through life, we can come up next to them and say, "Hey! I've been there. Heck, I am there right now! But I have hope. Can I tell you about it?"

This is love, this is Christ. Not ignoring or overlooking sin and struggle, but walking with them through it and pointing them to Jesus. This is what Billy Graham's converts needed, this is what we need, this is what everyone needs.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

10 ways to be environmentally and ethically conscientious and save money doing it! (with a plus 1)

Some people think that taking care of the environment is going to be hard and costly, but it doesn't have to be! In fact, the main reason I follow these general guidelines is not because they reduce my carbon footprint, but because they save me money! Lots of it, in fact. Practicing these 10 simple rules, you too can find yourself not only with a few more dollars to rub together but also working to keep our world a safe and enjoyable place to live.

Before buying something new, take a look at what you already have and...

1. Fix it, Updo it, or Move it
        Sometimes, all that is needed to make an item usable again is a simple matter of replacing the buttons, running it through the wash, or changing out a battery or small part. Time may be money, but a lot of the time that ten minutes it would take to fix something is worth less to you than the hour or two's wages you would have to work to replace it.
        Then there are the things that are starting to look dated and dingy. Whereas a new end table would look fabulous in your living room, you may be able to get one that looks even better and showcases your personal style just by throwing a new coat of paint and some hardware on the one you already have! You would be surprised the difference a bright color can make, especially on small pieces. Here's a great example:

      Another trick for making your home look fabulous is to rearrange. Use a piece of furniture in a way you wouldn't have previously thought of, group like items (whether in function or color) to make a photo-worthy display, or switch the function of a room altogether! Moving things around can be that burst of style that you were looking for without spending a dime.
    But, if none of these are working for you

2. Reuse it.
    I remember, as a kid, doing all my coloring on the back of printed papers my dad didn't need any longer. We almost never used a new sheet of paper. It didn't make a difference to me if there was a sermon outline or credit card advertisement on the back. 
    There are so many ways to reuse things, it seems wasteful all the stuff that gets recycled let alone thrown in a landfill! Cardboard shipping boxes can be reused for our own shipping purposes, for packing for a move, for organizing storage, and they're great amusement for kids; whether that be as alien masks, caves, or stick a toddler in one with a crayon so they can have a 3-D coloring experience while you get something done. Milk cartons were always a hot commodity at my house to use as bird-feeders, kitty-litter scoopers, and watering cans. If one of my husband's t-shirts gets stained, there is often plenty of fabric left to make a romper for the baby, and if not, they make great cleaning rags! Paper can be re-used for drawings, as well as paper chains, and paper mache. There are some really cool paper mache birdhouses out there! 
      And, of course, there's the ever industrious toilet paper roll. There are soooo many uses for these things! Pinterest is loaded with ideas! Here's a link to one guy's list: 

      I would be amiss to leave out recycling, no matter how cliche. But, again, the main reason I recycle is because it reduces my "garbage man garbage" by about a third. Where I live, no one picks up our recycling, we have to take it to a site ourselves. But, since it is only the next exit over off the highway, that doesn't bother me any. Make sure you read through the material they give you to ensure the things you are donating are things they take. We don't need to be be a burden on anyone else by making their jobs any harder than they already are. 
     Only exception I would make to this is paper, cardboard, or other burnable fibers. Please don't recycle your paper!!! Hate me for saying it, but paper recycling creates toxic waste and releases harsh chemicals into the air. Until they come up with a better way of doing it, recycling your paper does more harm than good. Save that for the next tip.

4. Burn it.
   Most houses have a burn-pit or something of the like in their yard. Save your burnable fiber items to use as fire-starter, things like: cardboard, printer paper, newpaper, and dryer lint. Occasionally, you may have to burn a pile of just "fire-starter", but the smoke from the fires actually cleans up the air. Just make sure you're not burning plastic, rubber, or anything like that.

   Between burning and composting, I reduce my "garbage man garbage" down another third. I compost all organic food material, including egg shells, oatmeal, and coffee grounds. The majority of the leaves I rake and grass I cut is also put in there. Even if you don't garden, compost is in high demand. There are local gardeners that would jump on the chance to get some prime compost.

6. Donate it
    This is out of place, I realize now. But, if you are no longer in need of something that it is still in usable condition, consider donating it to a secondhand store. Some people have garage sales, and that can be a way to make some money, but it takes a lot of work. If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck, I would recommend taking the nicer items to a consignment store, especially if you can find one that pays you up front instead of waiting till it sells, possibly at a severely discounted price.  If they aren't going to sell there, again, think secondhand. Please don't take them to Goodwill, though. This store is arguably one of the most corrupt organizations out there, using a loophole to pay their disabled employees below minimum wage and then turning around and using that money for extensive executive compensation and travel-related expenses. Support the local economy instead and donate to a locally-run store.

If you can't make do with what you have, which is the singular best way to reduce waste of both resources and money,

7. Consider want vs. need
   A lot of the expenses here in America are "wants", not "needs". I mean, do we really need every type of shoe in every color? How many t-shirts does a person really need? And consider the stress level, not to mention waste, that comes with the care of all of this stuff! Laundry piles up way faster when you have a lot of clothes, and then you're running water, detergent, and electricity unnecessarily just because somebody determined that it is socially unacceptable to wear the same dress twice a month. 
   No, I am not a minimalist. I like my trinkets and accessories, and I own two pairs of black flats (gasp!), but there is something to be gleaned from this lifestyle, even if it seems too extreme for you, namely: we own way more stuff than we actually need. 
   So, before heading to the stores, determine if this is something you want vs. something you need. Not that we can't buy things we want (gotta love my Caribou), but a lot of the time we are compensating for something deeper going on in our lives (self-esteem, stress, depression), and actually making the problem worse by enabling it and spending money in the meantime. 

If you need it, 

8. Buy secondhand.
 Again, not Goodwill, and preferably locally. There are awesome sites like thredup where you can buy gently-used items, but the problem with these is that you don't really know what you are supporting by buying from them, Accountability is almost non-existent, and most national places aren't straightforward about what their money is going to. 
   But, when you buy from a local secondhand store, you are supporting the local economy, supporting a local family, and you don't have to worry about how the clothes were originally produced because that company has already gleaned all they will from the item. This reduces the waste of production and transportation. 
   Additionally, small businesses don't feel the pressure to support unethical causes that large companies do. They usually don't even have the money to do so. And, since you are dealing with the owners directly, you can ask them what the money goes to in order to ensure your purchases are ethical. 
  Buying secondhand does not mean buying low quality. In fact, I often find name-brand items with the tags still on them. I would have never been able to afford this piece from the original store, but here it is at price I am more than willing to pay. I don't buy clothes that are stained, ratty, or outdated. In fact, most of my friends have asked me how I can dress my family so well on our budget, and the simple answer is that I am not afraid to buy secondhand. 
   Always always always wash clothes that you bring home, especially from secondhand stores. 

9. Shop local
  Kinda sounds like a repeat from the last tip, but if you're going to buy something new, shop locally first. You may end up spending a dollar or two more, but again the accountability is a lot higher and you're supporting the local economy. Farmer's markets, local craftsmen, etc. All of these things are great ways to be both environmentally and ethically conscientious. 

10. Out with the old and in with the new.
   When you do bring something new home, get rid of something old. Shoes is a good example for me... I love shoes. Usually, when I do buy a new pair, it is because an old pair is wearing or has grown too small (the joys of pregnancy). So I don't buy a new pair and keep the old. That would be a waste of space. Even if I am buying a pair just for fun, I find a pair in my closet that I haven't worn in two years but are still in good enough condition to get a something for at a consignment store. 
  This tactic is a great way of maintaining clutter, if not reducing it. For I often find myself getting rid of two or three things instead of just the one, Clutter, as mentioned before, increases stress and waste. 
   So, there you have it! 10 ways to be environmentally and ethically conscientious and save money doing it! That wasn't so hard, was it? I didn't say anything revolutionary, or anything that is going to take away from you life. On the contrary! Taking these simple steps will help you reduce clutter and waste, save money, and help the environment! 

  "But, wait!" you say, "you said there was a plus one!" 

   You're right. I call it a plus one because it isn't as easy as these other tips. Sometimes it takes time and effort, but it is so worth it. The plus one is: 

+1. Research the ethics of a company before doing business with them.

  A lot of the companies we work with on a regular basis are corrupt. They use unethical practice and environmentally destructive means of producing things we take for granted in our everyday lives. 
  But, the argument that it is impossible to live in today's world without working with unethical companies is quite false. There are actually a lot more conscientious companies out there than we realize. We just need to do the research. I intend to post a list of common unethical companies and their easily accessible alternatives here soon, but today, let's just keep it to one:

  Starbucks is a highly corrupt organization that is particularly known for being two-faced. For example: Starbucks threatened to pull all business out of Indiana due to their religious freedom act, but continues to do business in countries where religious divergents are beheaded. For example: Starbucks claims to be for women's rights, but continues to do business in countries where child marriage, polygamy, bigotry, female slavery, and prostitution are law. For example: Starbucks claims to be for the rights of all people but sends a large proceeds of their money to Planned Parenthood every year, therefore destroying not only the rights but the lives of millions of people every year. 
  I'm not going to go beyond mentioning, also, the dubious sources of their products... coffee being a large perpetrator of human slavery worldwide. 
  Taking all of that into consideration, is your coffee worth all of this evil? Especially when you add the fact that you're probably standing in Target to get their coffee, a company that provides abortion and trans-gender surgeries to their employees and their spouses? 
  Caribou, on the other hand, refuses to support political campaigns and controversial organizations, instead using their donations to better local economy and the environment! Not to mention the fact their coffee doesn't taste burnt. 

  I leave you with this thought. Is our ease and comfort worth the lives and livelihoods of people across the world and the destruction of our planet? Or is it time to stand up for what is right, even if we have to go out of our way to do it?