Last week’s Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day, inspired me to write, ‘Finding a Sustainable Middle in a Country of Extremes‘.
Yesterday was Black Friday. Despite all my good intentions, I ended up joining the crowds at the mall. I have gotten much better at taming my consuming urges, to the point where I do not even feel the desire any more. To refuse my daughter, however, that’s another story altogether. She was so sweet, and I wanted to please her. Off we went, and ended purchasing all three items on her ‘need or rather want’ list. If I still had any remaining doubts on the extent of the challenge facing our society, the sight of all these people, happily walking from store to store, multiple shopping bags in hand, and on a mission to find more bargains, put an end to them.
Then, comes Adbusters, and its arresting Buy Nothing Day TV ad with a burping pig, calling for us to put a stop to our consuming frenzy. I did not know about Buy Nothing Day, until a few days ago. Now, it seems everywhere I turn, someone has vowed to not buy anything for a day, a week, and sometimes even as long as a year. You can make it as tough as you like, depending on your own fortitude. The Compact people are gathering momentum, and their two year old Yahoo Group of diehard non-shoppers is going strong with 8,500 members. There is also No Impact Man and his one year experiment.
From one extreme, to the other. Either you can shop till you drop dead, or you are to stop shopping, cold turkey. In both cases, I dare question the sustainability of such extreme behaviors. It is now an established realization, that we cannot keep on consuming the way we do, without jeopardizing life as we know it on this planet. What concerns me, . . .