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Part 1: Contrasts & Colours

January 12, 2017

My first week back in Dhaka is always a wild ride! From feeling time stand still in traffic jams to careering through the blur of bazaar life ... yep it's a far cry from the quiet prairie life of central Illinois ... and I love it ;)

There's just so much to take in - the good, the bad and yes the ugly too. The humour amidst hardship; big hugs with big smiles even in the challenges. Honestly, our shared humanity is an amazing equalizer if we let it be. Here's a little peek of our shared life at Motif as we get together again:

Shani

Her husband left to marry another woman because he didn't want a child to raise. Shapnil,...

Celebrating Safe Refuge

December 17, 2016

A safe place, a refuge - that's all Mary and Joseph were looking for. Far from home and expecting a baby any time ... And so begins the story of Jesus' birth, celebrated this month. And so begins the story of many newborns this year.

Refugees far from home, looking for a safe place to settle from now on, or until they can return. This year has seen an unprecedented number of people flee their homes and move en masse across many borders. Some have moved for fear, others for opportunity and many for myriad other reasons. All however are now at the same point - in a new place, with a different language, few if any possessions, strange customs, confusing systems, their kids' questions, family expectations and, in the midst of all this ... just maybe a little hope.

This week I had...

Freedom is a Gift Too.

December 8, 2016

Gift giving comes in all shapes and sizes. In the midst of generating the most joy for our pennies however, I really do want to keep it grounded, keep our hearts wholly focused on why we make these careful and caring gift choices.

International Justice Mission, IJM, is an anti-trafficking agency doing phenomenal work in setting people free. The deep gift of freedom is something most of us take for granted. I know I do - it's my norm, my right, a right for us all - but what if it's been taken away?

IJM's recent video, Supermaarko, is very tough to watch, and it needs to be - the lives they help liberate are awful to live. I'm hi-lighting their work today intentionally and hope you may also...

It's amazing the kind of joy that floods our souls when we freely give from our hearts! And with more options than ever to give magical gifts that amazingly give twice the joy created is exponential - in my math magic land 1 purchase = 6 times the joy ... what's your equation?

So, as promised, here are some great GO TO places for ethical and alternative gift giving this year:

#1 TOP Fair Trade Stop

Has to be YOUR local Fair Trade Shop -

Thanksgiving! It's different things to different people. For some it’s a time for family and friends. For others it’s a day off for football and food. One meaning that’s hard to escape though is that Thanksgiving is ALL about Giving Thanks.

Experts agree that giving thanks is good for us. People showing gratitude in their daily lives report fewer health problems and have more energy, enthusiasm and productivity than their more grumpy buddies!

If gratitude is so good for our personal lives, can expressing thanks at work impact our effectiveness too? ... Absolutely! Take a look at our Motif team - we love our happy, relaxed yet very productive working atmosphere.

It may sound a bit odd but, gratitude as a business strategy can be powerful....

Ding Dong the TPP is Dead!

November 14, 2016

Ding Dong the T is dead, the P is dead, the P is dead!
Ding Dong the TPP is dead!!

This free trade deal that both fair traders and free traders of every political stripe have been standing against for the last 6 years will take its next, and hopefully last, steps without US backing! Yeah!!!!

Over the weekend the White House announced it would not proceed to ratify the Trans Pacific Partnership during the presidential transition period (lame-duck session). This is ground breaking news of HUGE significance.

Interestingly, as a non-citizen here in the US, I'm seeing some subtle and not so subtle shifts in how the media is reporting this decision and want to unpack it a little here. I'd welcome your observations too.

Just for the...


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