Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wall-E May Be Near..

Last Friday, I was following a conversation underneath my grandma's Facebook status that read "How do we slow down consumerism in our country by helping build the economy in the U.S."  It was interesting to see how far that wildfire burned.  There were some very angry commenters, and others who encouraged finding the happy medium she was asking for.  Not only was I surprised by the burning passion some felt, but that this was done over Facebook of all things.  It makes me wonder where the future of political debate is.

This question of slowing consumerism and building the economy is a tricky one, that I'm not even going to attempt answering.  I do know that while watching the documentary "No Impact Man," I was very influenced by the way he chose to purchase only used clothing, local foods, and make his own soap (I would like to mention that I in no way see this man as the perfect "green" human.  His relationship with his wife really bothered me and there were times when I wondered about his mental health).  His actions really took a stab at consumerism and many people quite literally hated him.  The hate mail sent to his blog or otherwise was very explicit.  The quote from him that I really took to heart was "People become hostile because they don't want to hear that they should live without."  So true.  This is why budgeting is such a problem for people, why cutting up those credit cards is like tearing up your heart.  These actions point towards restraint which our country doesn't encourage.  We live in a society of immediate, constant satisfaction whether it be food, material possessions or sex.  Most want--and want it now!  

Repercussions are seen running rampant all over Western civilization.  Anywhere from 20%-29% of adults in most states are obese.  Landfills are overflowing and STD's are seen in alarming numbers of young teenagers.  Not being taught how to live without has some serious consequences, and if we can't learn how we may be seeing a Wall-E world sooner than any of us cares to.  

My contribution towards living without--I did my sweater shopping at Goodwill.  But I do have more kitchen appliances than necessary and have a hard time not constantly buying new things.  This will take some time.  But I know I don't want to have my planet covered in skyscrapers of trash and be going around on my hovercraft, overweight and detached from reality.  No, thank you.

1 comment:

  1. In time, I think our economy will look different than it had before. It can still be healthy, but not be so padded with excess and debt.

    The interchange of ideas was intriguing and I saw I unintentionally pushed some people's "buttons" with it. But then I was glad that I chose to not hit my own "offended" button. ha.

    A long time ago I read, "Accept people and life as they are, not as you think they should be. Life and people are never as they should be. When you reject them as they are, you become their enemy. Life and people will not change for their enemies, but they might change for their friends."

    Good essay, Alexis. Also, good shopping at Goodwill, and you can borrow my hooded sweat jacket anytime you'd like.
    Love you!


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