There was a time in my younger, more idealistic life when I spent a lot of effort railing against our American consumer culture. My philosophies haven’t changed over the years, but the nuances and significance of what it means to me to have a simpler life have. When I look at all the stuff people have it makes me a bit ill and then I look at my own house and ask, “what do I really need?” The truth is I don’t “need” much to live. I look around my house and I see a lot of stuff. It’s time for a recycle sale.
What I want are things that truly enhance my life, that are helpful, durable and well made. I don’t consider the comfortable chair I bought my self for my birthday a few years back a frivolous purchase. It is certainly a luxury and to the extent that I can fall asleep in it with a good book it is a necessity to maintain my sanity. I bought it to last me for years. My problem with combating the consumer culture is this – I’m really quite a hedonist at heart. My virtue is that balance and compassion are my mantras. The question is, to what extent do I live by them?
My opinion that has evolved from my experiences in life is not that we (with now 7 billion people on the planet) should stop consuming. People need jobs. We are biological beings, consuming is what we do. What we also do is think. Measured choices about what we buy, what we eat, how we live and work and how those things effect others are important. Consummate your relationship with the place you live and the people you live with and realize how far your circle extends.
Adding a “store” to my blog was a measured choice for me. I used to be on board with the “Think Global, Buy Local” crowd. Recently, I think it is a bit naive. Local is everywhere. I prefer this:
My intention is to make some things available to people who might not have access to a good co-op or grocery stores. I wanted to put in a few things that help support the people I know in my community. I put in a few fun things because we all are hedonists in one way or another. Making cookies makes me feel good and giving them to friends is even better.
So, I’m not going to try and sell you on anything. If you choose to go browse those selections I would instead ask you to make measured choices yourself. Some things are expensive because they are not disposable crap, they will last. There are a lot of frivolous and fun cookie cutters, but if you are not really going to actually make cookies for your community bakes sale, your family or your friends on a regular basis, don’t fucking buy them. Think before you click. Let the value of what you can do for others with them be greater than the value of what you spend on them.