| Mother’s Day, an opportunity or a con?|
When I was just a lad living in Kurow, North Otago, we were a family of five boys and one girl. Dad was the local plumber in a farming community that often wouldn’t pay his invoices until the wool cheque came in.
As you can imagine there were times when we didn’t have much money and my siblings and I certainly didn’t get paid pocket money to do chores around the house. And we certainly knew what to expect if we didn’t do our chores, and believe me, it wasn’t just a telling-off!
I can’t remember that much about Mother’s Day as a kid. But I do know we were expected to make sure Mum felt special on both her birthday and Christmas Day. That meant if we wanted to buy her a gift we had to either sell something or work for it away from home.
Back in those days, in our small town, there was no pressure to Shop Local, Buy Local because unless you could get Dad to drive you 42 miles to Oamaru and back, there was no other option! We would search for soft drink bottles to cash in and sometimes after doing that we would sneak around the back of the shop, grab them back and take them around and cash them in again! I am sure that the shopkeeper had a fair idea of what was happening.
Life looks very different for kids nowadays. Often getting pocket money, there are so many ways for kids to make sure that Mum gets gifts and feels special. They can purchase online and have items delivered, or they catch the bus to a mall where they have a great selection of consumer goods! How then do we encourage our children that Buying Local is good for them as well as the town?
To be brutally honest, did any of us as kids really care what was good for our town? With the knowledge of hindsight however, we need to let them know that these businesses in town are the same ones that sponsor their sporting, and social clubs. They are the same local businesses that provide the prizes and the vouchers for prize giving, and they are the same ones that will employ them in those first part-time jobs.
It is a very simple message: make Mum feel special not just on Mother’s Day but all year, and if you want businesses to keep supporting you then you have to support them.
Is Mother’s Day an opportunity or a Con? I would say it’s another opportunity to love local when you choose to support local.
Manager, One Mahurangi Business Association
Support Local, Buy Local, Employ Local, Love Local!