Behind the glitz and glamour of the China Olympics are the many hands of people who labored diligently, for very little monetary gain, and many, under adverse conditions… to make it possible for the world to be entertained for a couple of weeks. In another few weeks the world will focused on other entertainment… other pastimes and China will be put in the back of our minds. “Easy come…easy go.”
I kind of fall into that category of “easy come, easy go” on a personal level. I’m a part of the “disposable generation” that uses a product for a while, then tosses it in a box for the Thrift Store. Many of the products I toss are “made in China.” I’ve had little regard for how they were made, or how many hands were involved in making an item for my convenience or pleasure. It’s a little like seeing the milk in the store… nicely packaged for my convenience… with no regard for the cow, or the process it takes to provide it for me.
One day… while in China… I was faced with a bit of reality …and I’ve never viewed products “made in China” the same again.
As artists, we had designed several products for the Christmas season… one being candle luminaries. The products were being produced in China. They were made of porcelain and my particular design was a snowman with small birdhouses at the base. While in China, we went to the factory to check on the process and review the shipping schedule.
Little did I know… when we walked in the door, my design… my snowman… would be in the middle of production. Hundreds of snowmen were in different stages of creation… from the mold pours, to the cleaning, and on to the kilns. I was taken back the shear number of people involved in the process and the conditions they were working in.
Being very over-whelmed by what I saw… I return to the van and wept. My heart was full of appreciate and gratitude for diligent, hard working, under paid workers. The consumer would not only benefit from their labors… but I would benefit from their work by receiving royalty on each item that was produced and sold.
I’ve never looked at products “made in China” the same since. I always wonder… who do the hands belong to that help bring commodities to my home… for my convenience or pleasure?
P.S. Hats off to the factory workers who have so diligently worked at very low wages to bring the China Olympics to the world. You’ve made your government look good… whether they deserve it or not.