The other thing that we should be asking ourselves, as people who are easily outraged by deforestation/extinction/the virtual enslavement of developing nations/the oppression of the poor in our own country:
How am I complicit in that?
Because we are.
It isn’t a big thing. There are big questions, of course, and small ones. But mostly, this one:
Why do we (I) often let ourselves (myself) live so far from our own values?
I know a family who considers themselves to be devout Christians. Church three times a week, homeschooling, all that. And the Dad drives a Mercedes Benz sports car. I want to jump up and down and scream–what do they even preach in your church?
But I don’t, because I do the same things. I justify my consumer excesses because, compared to a lot of women, they aren’t that bad. I haven’t bought a pair of shoes in a year. I never eat fast food. I rarely buy chocolate. I still buy, buy, buy, though, even while my ideologies lean toward the minimalist and the environmentally-conscious.
I’m not good at separating need from want about the small things. Do I need the fancy beeswax-infused alternative-plastic-wrap I ordered last week? How about the fourth kind of sunscreen I’ve tried this year? Stress-relieving bubble bath? A new blouse, because they were on sale and my nice clothes are getting old? That bottle of perfume that I’ve been eyeing for the last six months? A new tube of lipstick, in this season’s color? The stuff I threw in with my hair product, to justify the price of shipping?
I think I need a new question for shopping. Need/want obviously doesn’t work well for me–I’m an over thinker; I can talk myself in and out of anything. How about Is this the way I want to live?