I didn't give myself Type II diabetes out of my deep-seeded love for okra (which I hate). Every time I take a breath, I secretly hope that somehow scientists have invented chocolate air. Once, I thought they had, but it turned out to be something in complete contrast to what I had hoped. I believe that at one point in my life I ate through half of the world's supply chain of cocoa because of my suffocating, unbridled love affair with the stuff.
Even the word itself tastes good! When I hear the word chocolate, I think of love, goodness and of every foxy day of my life. But, take a word like "spinach." It is like green terror, fear and all things not stamped "Nestle" blasted into a leafy flatness that is completely despondent and tastes poorly like sadness.
Lately, though, I have felt bad about eating it. Oh, how I wish I could believe or understand that!
But, it is true. And it is not just because I can't fit into my jeans anymore, which I can't. Studying history and world events a bit more early on probably would have saved me from being an exhaustive human chocolate vacuum completely unaware of the excess burden that I was placing on the world's cocoa industry.
Recently, I really have had some issues with supply chain practices that chocolate companies are using.
In our heads, we probably imagine a whimsical man dressed in purple-garb skipping through fields of dripping chocolate patting tiny people on their heads.
In reality, it is a bit more like this:
I realize that I have metaphorically made a deal with the devil. By the devil, I mean Hershey or Nestle or whoever is in the cocoa bean buying business. By metaphorically, I mean, "Put down the bag of M&M's, Tracie!"
I look at myself in the mirror now and it is like looking directly into the sun...a really, really awkward sun. How can I be proud of myself sitting over here in my blogging chair, feet propped up, snacking on snickers while some poor kid is carrying around a sack of cocoa beans weighing more than he does in 100 plus degree heat, barefooted and getting beaten every time he falls or slows down?
Wow. Something that makes me so happy makes someone else so sad. Life is full of ironies that daily trample on the weak or poor, but being the astute mathematician that I am, I did the math.
It doesn't make me happy, anymore. If something that I do makes someone else unhappy, it doesn't matter who it is or where they or at, then that is my cue for me to stop in my tracks and examine my actions and the consequences they have on others.
I have officially nominated myself for a new award and I am accepting it on behalf of myself. I suppose I am behalfing it:
I can honestly say I deserve this one.
During my childhood I never won any significant awards, as I suppose I didn't deserve them. I did, however, proudly win a handful of insignificant ones such as:
Apparently, the large chocolate manufacturers are aware of the child labor practices and continue to do business with these plantation owners. An awful lot of heads are being turned.
Well, here is where I come in. I am not a head turner, well, I don't look away. I suppose that I could over-expose them to my awesomeness and they will be solidly blinded into oblivion by my awesome rays and not have to turn their heads anymore on this blood bath of chocolate that they have created.
Or, I could pull out my secret Kung Fu skills, which by the way, are the stuff of legend.
But, I think I will solve this issue with my usual style of grace, class and diplomacy.
Mark my words, if I ever get out of my blogging chair, off of my sofa, or out of my bed before noon, I will be completely unstoppable! Until that time occurs, I hope that you take the time share this message and educate your friends or family, especially any choco-holics you may know and help put the pressure on the big companies to take more responsibilities for their supplies by not rewarding ruthless plantation owners with loaves of cash. Be a part of the solution. In the meantime, I am leaving you with this: