November 8, 2008:
Last Saturday, I spent the majority of my afternoon helping my mom clean out our storage shed. As I sorted through boxes of stuff, I thought about how much money was spent on these items that now sit – untouched and forgotten – in cardboard boxes. There is a thrill in finding an item you forgot you owned, but there is also a guilt that comes along with it. I tried to think about how much money I have spent on items I just “had to have” but then abandoned after a time of ownership. The thought scared me. So, I started thinking about ways to cut the amount of money I spend on arbitrary possessions in order to break the cycle of careless spending and save up for more long-lasting investments.
May 5, 2009:
What began as a way to be a better steward of my money has now become an entirely new way to live. My project shifted from financial focus to a moral focus after just a few months in. As I looked at the tags in my cheap but oh-so-stylish clothes and accessories, I began to wonder about the Hondruan woman who sewed my jeans together. I wondered about the Chinese man who boxed up my flip-flops. I thought about the people in Taiwan, Cambodia, Portugal, Budapest, and the Phillippines who had touched my clothes, my shoes, my earrings… my dinner plates, my alarm clock, my picture frames… Who are these people and how are they treated? What are their lives like?
What price are we paying as a global community for those of us who are among the richest in the world to buy products made by the hands of some of the poorest people in the world? Is it worth it?
I don’t know…. but I intend to find out.
January 21, 2009:
My clothing “fast” has ended and I am back to conscious shopping and careful observation of what I’m buying, where it came from, and what impact it has on the world. Currently, I’m a bit disheartened by the minuscule impact that I can make on the world. Sometimes I wonder if it even matters what I do… I tend to succumb to what’s convenient and socially acceptable. So, I’m in the inbetween. I care about what is happening in our world but I’m at a loss when it comes to figuring out what to do about it. So, this blog is my thoughts… life’s everyday happenings… and maybe I’ll figure out how to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.