Thursday, April 15, 2010
Lose the stuff, material girl.
Look around. Look at all the Stuff you have. And even though we've shed a lot of our own stuff as we've moved around the country, Hal and I still have BOXES of Stuff that is sitting in an extra bedroom not being used at all.
Americans work more hours than people in any other industrialized nation and the two main things we do in our off time is watch television and shop. We go to work, come home, watch television and hear about all the things we need via the never-ending barrage of commercials and then we drag our butts off the sofa and go out to buy them, creating more debt, which we then have to work more hours to pay for. It's a cycle. I think if I stood on any street corner and asked people if they'd like to be out of debt, most would shout a resounding "YES!" but there we are in the stores, buying another sweater, another pair of shoes, a new television, more toys for our kids who have too many toys already - you get the point.
Even though I've been fully indoctrinated in this American consumer, materialistic-must-have-society, I'm going to focus on trying to not have so much again. If I buy something new, I'm going to try to get rid of the thing I have replaced responsibly. I'm going to donate clothes I can't wear anymore to people in other nations who are lucky if they have shoes on their feet to walk the three miles to get clean water every day. I'm going to try to buy only things that have been made with some inkling of responsibility for our planet in mind. I'm going to see if I can teach my daughter as she grows that it's okay not to always have the latest, greatest thing that advertisers are telling her she needs.
This is just a tiny start. But it's something.