the opportunity to choose

tea sorting

On the back of the International Women’s Day Facebook flood, I have the fate of hundreds of women in my heart. Those women who have been trafficked. Those women who are slaves. And those women who are working in unconscionable situations to bravely raise their families.

But thankfully, that is over for another year, and my weary heart can take a rest.

Hang on, what is this I read about ethically-sourced chocolate for Easter? Ok I’ll print out the list, I can do that.

But then, I follow another link, and find out that tea-farming is also an area where people are being exploited.

And do you know what my reaction was?

Tea?! … As well?

I can do chocolate, I can support women’s micro financing, but tea?

It’s too overwhelming. Soon I won’t be able to make any decision without it affecting others.


I am a woman in western society.

I have opportunity.

I have choice.

I participated in this questionnaire circulating on International Women’s Day: how many laws did you break today?

I broke 7 of the 13 laws. One of which was driving a car!

I am privileged to live in a country where I have choice.

But I also need to be aware that the choices I make, they affect those in other countries that have no choice whatsoever. My choice to buy fair-trade chocolate; is a choice that supports a cocoa farm that is using free labour. My choice to give money to a micro-financing charity helps families support themselves after a natural disaster.

And thinking carefully about my tea? Well, that may well mean that a family has enough money to survive and chooses not to sell one of their children.

So rather than get overwhelmed by the abundance of choice I have. I need to thank God for the opportunity to have choice. And to make sure that my little choices are those that give others in the world choice too.

Join me for the journey,


About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at