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A lifestyle of love happiness - Weekly Inspiration - A lifestyle of love and happiness creates an environment where people can grow and find hope and a purpose for themselves and others.
Weekly Inspiration

Spoil the small guy

Paul once met a lady in a place called Thyatira, situated in the district of Macedonia. This woman was a dealer in Purple material. Purple fabric was manufactured from the purple fluid found in a rare fish and hence extremely expensive. She was a believer and ardent follower of the Christian faith. When she met Paul she was so impressed with by his teaching that she invited him into her house. Paul and his companions stayed in her house while teaching in that region.

Lydia as a businesswoman was very helpful in the spreading of the gospel during those early days of Christianity. She prayed a lot, went to meetings together with other believing women and opened her home to the leaders. While Paul and Silas were spending time there they stayed with Lydia. On one occasion they were detained because they healed a young slave girl from a bad spirit. Acts 16 : 16 – 24. This was a big mistake because Paul and Silas being Roman citizens could only be convicted and punished after a fair trial. They should’ve been properly charged and allowed to appear before a judge in a court of law. The officials made the situation good by apologizing and escorting them out of jail. During this whole unfortunate episode however they were asked to leave the city.

Before leaving they encouraged the other believers and then went on their way. Lydia supported them through all this. She was dragged into this drama as well. If asked their address it could be nothing else than the house of Lydia the prominent and well-off merchant. Everyone was aware of the fact that these so-called troublemakers were her friends. Regardless of the fact that they were chastised and disgraced in public she allowed them back in her house.

The business people around us are very important to us, not only in life-style affairs but also in other crises situations. We must regard them as valuable and precious. We have no choice but to support them in their business as well. That is why it is very important to buy from an individual that you can see and talk to. To be honest, it is only the small guy whom you can access directly and personally. Big companies are run by shareholders and Chief Executive Officers you have never met and never will. Management of these companies are all pressed to make huge profits on behalf of faceless shareholders. They will always expect good results no matter what! It is very hard to approach these people and get their personal support in anything. They won’t be there when you need a house to stay in and a plate of home-cooked food to satisfy your hunger. They will definitely send you on your way quickly if you have trouble with the police or law-enforcing officials not to mention if you spend a night in jail.

To buy from the small guy means you are supporting an individual you know and who knows you. You have access to his life-style and ethical make-up. He is approachable to explain his business practices and the origin of his goods. You can evaluate his morals and principles to make sure they are not corrupt. His life being visible and open in a small community you can hopefully make sure his dealings are not conducive to slave labour, child labour, sweat shops or human trafficking. In conclusion the small guy can’t hide behind big office doors in some flashy high rise building in a faraway country. This is then the person you should support.

By supporting this individual in your community you contribute to the education of his child, the status of your town and the well-being of your community. You can actually see where your money is going. Buying from multi-nationals means you support the acquisition of another big company or the purchase of another new sports car by the CEO. You might support the building of a second or third holiday home or an expensive vacation for a rich shareholder. The money you spend in the shop of a huge company runs out of your hands, out of your control and out of your community.

It is true that big worldwide retailers offers goods at very low prices, and the consumer gets the benefit of this; they also build big shops with lots of parking space. They make it easy for shoppers. By having a big premises they are also able to provide an impressive array of goods from household detergents to computer hardware and cellphones. It is a good and marvelous experience to go to these big shops, so they have many advantages over the small guy. By having huge buying power they always negotiate the lowest prices. Eventually the small farmer, the small fisherman and the small manufacturer will also suffer and die. Although they say they support local producers the standards of packaging and appearance become so high that in the end it is no fun anymore.  The other hard thing is, they want a constant supply of goods and only appoint contractors that can provide the constant flow of goods the small merchant can’t do that. Who knows what other practices are used to get the cheapest best-looking product on the shelves. Isn’t it the taste rather than the appearance that is most important!

By neglecting the small guy the rural towns and communities suffers the most. Sponsors are important, but sponsoring a sports event does not save the wellbeing of the local community! Rather pay more for your vegetables, your milk and your household detergents as the Bible says: “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again” Ecclesiastes 11:1

In lifestyle22 we support businesses where you know the guy who owns it

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