"Bake them a cake, write them a poem, give them a kiss, tell them a joke, but for God's sake, stop trashing the planet to tell someone you care. All it shows is that you don't."
The quote above is from this article and it had a profound effect on me this past week. The article is about consumption and basically how insane it is on so many levels. The author talks about the useless stuff marketed to the public and often given as Christmas gifts, as well as the impact that making this crap has on the world. Everything that he says about how quickly an item becomes obsolete (within minutes really) was evident with my nephews at Christmas. They opened gifts and looked at them and were excited for about 15 seconds and then moved on to the next thing. When all was said and done, all they wanted to do was wrestle with my sons for two hours anyway.
Right now, I am not really thinking about the rest of the world when it comes to minimalism. Yes, many people are minimalists largely because they are concerned about their carbon footprint or the working conditions of people in third-world countries, etc. For me, at this moment, those issues are not factoring into my goal to simplify my life. I cannot yet get hung up on the quality of the lives of others because I'm still trying to improve the quality of my own. I guess that my disdain for consumerism may eventually filter down to the environment and the world economy, including one or two poor factory workers. But that picture is too big for me to look at right now.
I'm not even sure that a world where everyone stops buying stuff would be feasible. if everyone stopped buying, wouldn't economies collapse? What would actually happen? Isn't buying and trashing and making and selling and buying and trashing again what makes the world go round? If we all just bought food and necessary clothing and lived in basic housing and didn't work but instead did things like read and write and play games and pursue our passions and travel, then what?
So I don't think about it, and I'm not sure I ever will. All I know is that for me, decluttering and saving and not buying crap I don't need and getting down to basics all provide me with a little bit of peace. It takes stress off my husband when he sees that we are spending less and saving more, and right now, that is what's important.
Christmas, I am done with you. It's time to move on to January.