Last week, when my husband and I celebrated Valentine’s Day together in Nashville, Tennessee, we were discussing our business’ support of women emerging out of trafficking/slavery, war/conflict and other situations. We buy handmade crafts like scarves and purses, and jewelry from women living in safe houses. I told my husband that I truly love each and every one of the ladies, most of whom are of Nigerian, and Russian and Ukrainian decent. He asked me if I felt this love towards the Ukrainian women because I’d once lived in Ukraine myself. “No,” I said. I feel love for all the women, no matter where they’re from – Nigeria or Russia or Ukraine. In fact, there’s not a single day that goes by that they don’t cross my mind. I’ve never met any of the women yet. I’ve seen pictures of a few of the ladies training to make the beautiful jewelry and handcrafted purses. So, how is it that I feel such love for these total strangers? That’s when the two of us asked the question, “Can you love a total stranger?” I believe you can. Everytime I take my credit card or money out of my small clutch purse to pay for groceries, I know that I’m holding a true labor of love made by a women who is trying to sustain her life. Every time I sell a one-of-a-kind scarf that a woman has creatively designed from a bolt-end of fabric, I think to myself that the person buying it will naturally feel love in their heart each time they wear it. Being able to love a total stranger is not only opening your heart to help facilitate positive change for others, but it is setting an example to all regarding the level of love that is necessary to bring about permanent change for those who are suffering. Anything less than love for these trafficking victims will simply leave them in the dire situations they’ve been sold into from a young age. Making a conscience effort to buy Fair Trade, fair wage, human and animal-friendly designs and crafts, and from those affected by war/conflict, trafficking/slavery, refugee status, natural disaster, and other economically disparaging situations is an act of unconditional love, even if it isn’t that big of a deal to you. Love a total stranger and you might just start changing the world!