I’ve never been a hopeless romantic, and even if I were, the thought of Valentine’s would still trigger nothing more than cynicism in me. Just like diamond and expensive handbags, why should I give in to manipulative marketing?
This personal dislike of marketing often clashes with the reality of what I’m trying to do i.e. selling ethical products that are handmade by some of the world’s poorest people, so that they can have a reliable income and live with dignity. The way I see it is that I’m not trying to convince anyone that the product is worth more than it is (hence I’m not being manipulative); all I’m saying is that if you are going to buy something you might as well buy things that are made ethically.
Put the business aside, I’d like to share my little personal story about Valentine’s. When I was in school in China, I had a massive crush on a boy who was born on Valentine’s Day. He was the cleverest one, and he was who I wanted to be. We lost touch a long time ago, but every Valentine’s reminds me of this innocent little girl who did many crazy things for this little boy, and they never even held hands or exchanged a long conversation.
Many years later, this little girl has grown up, but she is still too honest, too trusting, too nice and too empathetic. She still sees the best in people and still believes in love no matter how much it has hurt her. She is seen as “successful”, “independent” and “happy”, but only she knows how difficult some days are. But she keeps smiling, and she believes that she will meet “the one” one day. She knows there’s more to life than romantic love, and she keeps her life busy with her involvements in her little charity Oz Fair Trade, her full time job, Rotary, Amnesty, professional studies, friends and families, readings and other things.
She gets strength from the thought of the people she’s helping, and she is thankful for all her past experiences which helped her to grow into a strong and mature woman. Maybe she will be alone this Valentine’s, but she won’t be lonely 🙂
p.s. if you are still looking for a perfect Valentine’s gift, head over to Oz Fair Trade’s Valentine’s collection.