Slavery, serendipity and my messy desk.

As I travelled to Jamberoo Abbey recently, I caught a shuttle bus from the airport out to the bush (because driving through Sydney wasn’t going to promote my nun like level of calm). I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t the one driving and I was looking forwards to some relaxing chauffeur type time when I discovered that I had the most-awful-of-all-dreadful-things; a chatty driver.

Seriously. Small talk with strangers is my least favourite thing, mainly because I get really involved in it and over share and maybe offer a place for them to stay when they come to Tasmania.

OK, I’ve just realised that small talk gets me into a corner when I’m much more giving and inclusive and community minded that I’m comfortable with so clearly there’s a whole other issue there…

Anyway, chatty driver. Very nice chatty driver who didn’t really expect me to participate in the conversation so that was good. And as time passed he began to talk about his passion for orphans and his desire to fight child trafficking and how he travels to Thailand every year to volunteer at Zoe Children’s Homes (oh look, another fantastic faith based charity).

Now just the week before, I’d promised my grade ten classes that during term four we would study something interesting and relevant and useful to do with the developing world and equity and that it wouldn’t be boring and based on text books but I would have to have a bit of a think about it and decide which direction we were going to take.

And as Chatty Driver talked, I googled the Zoe Foundation and discovered that they provided a whole unit of work for precisely the curriculum I have to teach this term, crossing over from English and Geography. Basically exactly what I needed.

So, life lesson, when you open yourself to other people serendipitous things can occur.

Using this in conjunction with the information that I posted the other day, I’ll have some really engaging and relevant content (which will probably not be needed soon with men like this making decisions).

But although I’ve just discovered the awful truth about the number of slaves that work for me, while working at my desk I had the realisation that there’s a good chance that quite a few of these things were made, if not by actual slaves then very probably in sweat shops.


It’s one thing to intellectually know something but it’s so much harder to actually act on that knowledge. From being a loving and inclusive person on a day to day basis, to acting in an ethical matter when shopping, sometimes it seems all a bit too hard to me.

All the theory in the world is one thing but moving yourself into new zones; becoming aware of how to spend your money or making an effort to listen to people who you may not necessarily want to engage with, is what will really move things forwards, isn’t it? Those of us who are lucky enough to have the knowledge and have the awareness need to act on it, even if it seems pointless or just a drop in the bucket.

Well, this is what I keep telling myself, anyway.

2 thoughts on “Slavery, serendipity and my messy desk.

  1. I read a short story about a man who found penguins in a menagerie, which were too hot because they had no ice. So he made it his business to provide them with ice. He changed the world.

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