by Noah Corman ‘19
It is human nature to stand up for one’s beliefs. When an organization uses their profits to support controversial causes, one must question whether or not they want to give their money to such a business. In fact, boycotting this institution would be commendable. People need to be more active and fulfill their duty as citizens of their town, state, and country by expressing disapproval of whatever they feel should be changed.
Individuals do and can make a difference and should not let the fear of having no impact stop them. It is honorable to stand up to injustice, especially in an era where indifference to such intolerance has become the norm. Indifference is one of the world’s greatest dangers, and people who do not care will not strive to change anything. People who are truly interested in helping a cause will do what they can to help those in need, even if that action is seemingly minor and has no immediate effect.
One might argue that spending or not spending $20 a month will have no impact on the business practices or politics of a multinational corporation that makes billions of dollars in revenue each year. With that kind of thinking, one could consume products from that business often with minimal impact or guilty feelings. However, many people choose to sit at home on election day because they believe that they are only one person and their single vote cannot possibly affect the outcome. If everyone had a similar mindset, then no one would vote. When everyone believes that their small contribution means something and can initiate change, a boycott can and will be more successful.
Many large corporations ultimately benefit from child laborers and underpaid laborers that are in other countries or even the United States. It is true that supporting those corporations monetarily does indirectly maintain those malpractices.
However, with so many businesses doing unsavory things that may range from outsourcing jobs to evading taxes, it is clear that no one can boycott everything. The consumer can still choose whether or not to defend their values, so making an effort to protect one’s beliefs is a more noble act than doing nothing.
Combatting inequality and greed should be encouraged. People who deprive immoral businesses of profit, regardless of the way they do it, deserve respect. Not enough people are willing to put words into action and stand up for their values, so it is praiseworthy when someone does so. Believing in the ability to create change is the first step towards making that change into reality. Everyone who has ever created big change has started off small.