What does it mean to be socially aware? Once I am aware, can I or should I change my behavior? If I change what I do with the best of intentions, will I achieve the desired outcome? Today, I am at a loss for what to do.

On my birthday, I visited Kohl’s, gift card and coupon in hand. Finally, hours alone to shop with no whining teenagers, no “Mom, are you done yet?” I chose Levi’s shorts, and I love them. Even my daughter thinks they look good, and that is a miracle. They are comfortable and cute and just the right length. And they are Levi’s, an all-American standard.

Except they aren’t. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the tag before laundering my new purchase and noticed with despair that these wonderful shorts were made in Pakistan. “Pakistan” I told my daughter, “where terrorists are harbored and Christians are persecuted.” She said, “But Levi’s are so California Gold Rush. What happened?”

I don’t know. I just don’t know. I have always supported American corporations doing what they needed to do to make a profit. I have nothing against Pakistani people on the whole. I just wondered, “Am I supporting Jo Schmo Pakistani who wouldn’t be able to put food on the table without Levi’s? Or am I supporting those terrorist-harboring, Christian persecuting extremists? If I stop buying Levi’s, will good people in Pakistan starve? If I continue, will good people in the United States starve?

In the end, I know the answer is not that simple. Probably nothing I do will make a hill of beans of a difference. I really like these shorts. So, I guess I just have to tip my hat to the Pakistanis who made them and hope I’m somehow doing more good than harm in the world.

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