I knew it would happen. Not exactly "hate mail", but something along the lines of non-fan mail. My decision to bring politics into my business wasn't a difficult one. At nearly 51 years old, I'm in that wonderful part of my life where pleasing everyone is no longer a goal, and speaking up for what I believe in is as necessary as breathing. My work, my play, my beads, my business, are all part of the whole that is my life. Extending that further, my one little life is part of the whole that is all life, that is all of us.
Since I posted my plans to make Obama Beads, in support of his campaign, I've had some really nice and supportive comments left here on my blog. The not so nice comments have all been sent directly to me by email. I suppose it's easier to scold me in private, where the world can't read what they say. But since I'm pretty much out there in the open about most things, I'm going to respond to all of them here...
I feel an ethical obligation, and a right as an American citizen, to make use of my business as a way of supporting what I believe in. I believe in light, and love, and peace. I believe we can all get along even if we don't agree on every little thing. I believe that most things are really very little. I believe that George Bush has spent eight years doing his best.... his best to destroy the Constitution, take away our personal rights, fatten the wallets of himself and his pals, and to ruin our reputation as a decent, caring nation. I believe we have a lot of repair work to do, and I believe Obama has what it takes to turn things around and take this country, and the world, in a positive direction.
I get to say that, here, or anywhere else I choose. Freedom of speech is something we still have. In fact, it's downright patriotic to speak up for what we believe in. If what I think and what I say offends some people, I'm sorry, but I still think it, and will still say it. There are some who think I should hush up, make nice, and just pump pretty beads out into the world. Others have suggested that if I don't believe what they believe, they will be "forced" to stop buying my beads. I have to wonder if they go to the trouble of checking out each and every store or service they spend money on, to be sure they only deal with people who are Just Like Them.
I can't please everyone. I don't even want to try. Unfortunately, religion and politics still divide people. Like John Lennon, I imagine a world where we no longer need either one. Until then, I'd like to suggest that we all respect each other's beliefs and differences. I don't mind that not everyone wants to see Obama become president. I'm not here to offend or to convince anyone. I'm just doing my job, and the job description continues to change and grow as I do. Take it or leave it, but enough of the outraged, finger-wagging lectures. Like me or not, like my beads or not, you get to choose how you spend your time and your money. I trust that there are enough open-minded, wide awake people in the world to keep me going for a very long time.
So yes, I will be making the Obama Beads. Soon. I have a long list of people who want them already. Yay! The beads will cost $45, same as my other Talking Beads. $5 from the sale of each will be donated to Obama's campaign fund. I'm not sure exactly how that translates into "percentage of profit", but it's generous. The shipping charge in the US is $5 for Priority Mail. If you buy two beads, US shipping is free. I'm working on a couple of other designs too, so there will be a three to choose from. Probably something in blue and white, and another blingier, clear & CZ version, that can be worn with almost anything. (And no, I will not make McCain beads. That will be someone else's calling.)
I'll begin by posting these on my website, making it easy to click and buy. I think that will be the easiest for me, but I won't know for sure until I see how great the demand is. I'm also making a list of names of people who want these beads. Drop me an email if you'd like to be on that list. I'll try to keep up!
Many thanks to all of you who stand here with me. I know there's a fence dividing us from others. Little by little we can tear down that fence. I need to remind myself every day to "shine the light", and not to take others people's stuff personally.
Still want to yell at me? Well, take those wagging fingers and aim them at the lazy non-voters in your life. Part of my goal here is to get people excited about the process, and to get them to participate. There's no point in arguing. Do something constructive instead. Get some excitement going.
We have work to do. Let's get on with it!