Have you ever ordered something online only to open the box and find a cheap imitation of the advertised product? In this era of fast fashion and overnight shipping, foreign companies make millions off of products that are fraudulently advertised and hastily assembled by slave labor. Safe behind the protections of tyrannical governments, those companies don’t care that you didn’t get what you paid for. Power is abused when there is a lack of accountability.
I don’t do well in large cities. I have lived in several metro areas across America and I always run into the same issues. In a big city, people have a degree of anonymity which is not afforded to those living in a rural area. It is hard to hold people accountable when you don’t know who they are. In a small town, you have to think twice before flipping a driver off in traffic, as it might be someone from your church or parent-teacher association. In the country, reputation matters and word-of-mouth beats Google every day of the week.
That’s why I’d like to challenge you to add one last thing to your New Year’s Resolution list; Shop Local. Invest in your community. Where possible, engage local professionals, laborers, and service providers; because accountability matters, especially in times of trouble. I bank at a small regional branch because when I have an issue, I can walk in and not only do the tellers know my name, they know the names of my two dogs and how my sister’s root canal went. That’s where I keep my money, because those are the kind of relationships I believe in and want to invest in.
This very publication is a small business that I support, and if you look through these pages, you will find your friends and neighbors, names you know and places you recognize. These are the people and the causes that I hope spring to mind when you need something. This year, when you open your wallet, ask yourself, what am I investing in? My resolution for 2024 is to keep my money within the shadow of Mt. Hood. I hope you will do the same.