It's crazy, isn't it?
In our consumer society, we are so distanced and disconnected from the origin and production/processing and delivery of the products and services we buy, that we don't have any inkling of the upstream and downstream
effects (including the potential damage) of each purchase we make... with each effect then rippling out in an infinite number of directions.
We see something that looks useful to us, and buy it... and whatever we can't see or experience
or don't know about, never crosses our minds, as we simply move onto the next mostly unconscious purchase.
And since there is sooooooooo much shiny product that is sooooooooo easily purchased, and since the whole of our society is continually
buying (including me), we rarely question the insanity of it all... it's just more more more for me me me without any awareness of what we're doing, why we're doing it, or what is the impact.
And trying to figure out the potential effects
of any one purchased product could be overwhelming with all the information (and conflicting information) available... let alone considering all of that for every single thing we consume. And I haven't even touched on all the mostly hidden personal beliefs
and perceptions and insecure thoughts that unknowingly skew my views on what and how much I buy.
Instead, lately I've just been reflecting on this simple idea whenever it occurs to me...
"If I truly loved and felt
connected to everyone and everything, would I buy this product, or this service, or this (fill in the blank here)?"
Sometimes I say no and don't buy it. Sometimes I do a little research on it before purchasing. Sometimes I consider looking
for a more "loving" option (upcycled, recycled, repurposed, borrowed, shared, traded, eco-friendlier, alternate solution, smaller, less, etc.). Sometimes I still buy it.
And whatever the answer, I neither laud any choice as right (I'm
good) nor suffer any choice as wrong (I'm bad)... I've realized enough over the last few years not to get lost in either version of my insecure thought. For me, it's mostly just a growing mindfulness in what and why I buy, and my place within this incredibly
complex, interconnected world.
Right now, in truth, I'm still mostly a little turtle caught in the river rapids of consumerism. But this question is appearing in my mind more often, and having some influence on my less mindful purchasing
For me, at least it's a start.
And, it naturally leads into asking, "If I truly loved and felt connected to everyone and everything (including my sense of self), would I be doing what I'm doing right now?"
Hmmmmm... I wonder?