My grandma taught me to not take what was beneath the earth’s surface- that if it couldn’t be reached with our hands and feet it was meant to be left as a gift for the generations to come.
As I stood over the Super pit in Kalgoorlie, I watched an old man weep.
His mother had been born there. Her mother had been born there.
His dark eyes looked through me, as he wiped his tears he whispered ‘how’s the shame…’
For years man has adorned himself with treasures found. Until the age of industrialisation, we were guided, forced by limitations our mother was able to rebuild, repair, continue to give. And then the man changed.
We got lazy. We created machines that did the work for us. We lost connection and forgot to stop. The emissions cloud or atmosphere and haze our hearts.
As I stood at the frontline of an Adani process, I looked around. Everywhere people were committed to trying to stop the mine. While covered in metals and crystals. Justified by beauty.
Again, I stood and watched as a young boy carried his bag home after a days work. He was no older than 14. The story of our crystals, stones and metals is not pure. Although there exists an agreement between the first and third world to protect human rights, it’s not necessarily enforced. And as our eyes light up over the price of ‘cheap’ tumbled stone, crystals from within a mountain and shining sapphires set in gold that along the line of production, someone has paid for its true cost. Whether it the earth or the labourer the cost of production is the same and while it’s not us, the consumer we turn a blind eye.
This article is not about guilt, there’s enough of that in the world.
This article is about accountability, for us as the consumer and the producer to commit to defending the rights of those forced into the industry. And to commit to ensuring that what we wear comes from a true source- one that protects the earth for our generations to come.
We can choose at any point to redefine ‘worth’. Transforming our perception from a false economy of supply and demand to one that values connection, the beautiful relationship between object and soul.