It seems our industry, and our country in general, is dealing with a great many challenges today. I have been in the colored gemstone business (which I love) for more than 40 years, and have never seen so many stresses that need to be addressed at the same time, locally and globally. Will it be easy? Do we know just where all these challenges will lead us? No, I do not believe we do. What I do know, is that we will have a better chance of success if we can find ways to support each other and work together. We often think of "support" as giving money to causes we believe in. We too often think money will solve whatever issues we confront. Financial support is great when we can afford to give it... but it is not the only means of support.
Today, we need much more than just money. In this new definitive online world, we need to reach out to others in a more personal and human way. This can be as simple as giving others encouragement or advice; asking others how we might help (and then really listening); or maybe we just say " I hope you have a nice day" to someone we have never even met before.
A number of years ago, we helped set up the Dzonze District Development Fund in Malawi. This was a group of local leaders that developed and prioritized local projects in the mining area that the local community thought were most important. And school development for the children was always the communities #1 priority.
We are in a new world where we must reach across anything that divides us and just say, "how can I help?", and then do what we are able. We all can do something, however large or small.
The jewelry Industry is a worldwide community, so we are uniquely suited to look at these challenges and be part of the solution. Jewelry has always stood for love, commitment, and beauty… So how do we take these same virtues and use them to support others? If we get up each morning and ask ourselves, "what can I do to help today?" we will see the world start to change.... But what does "change' really mean? For me it means working together to create a safer, healthier, more human world that everyone is a part of.
As some crazy corporate advertisement says, "We can do this", and now is the time.