Changing the way America consumes could change the world
I believe that the power of our purses is the greatest--perhaps the only--power we have in such a capitalist, economically-oriented society. Money is what talks in America. And even those of us who don't have a ton of it can make a difference. We have to stop depending on government and corporations to care, to conduct themselves according to the greater good, and promote change that protects us and the earth. For the most part, they won't. It's not their charter--profit is. It's up to us to create the change we want. Most if not all of the powerful and necessary changes in our history came from the grass roots, the ground up, from revolutions of people and communities. Be extremely conscious and purposeful about what and how you consume. Walk your talk. Live with integrity--be an example. Make your spending count. Use your spending choices to reward integrity, compassion and sustainability (and companies that are truly committed to those values) and to punish or boycott those propagating greed and destruction. It's hard, it's slow, but one by one we can do it. If we don't start with our own selves, our own circles, our own communities, our own lives, nothing happens at all. Look at the food, clothes, housewares, appliances, vehicles, cosmetics you buy and use, and ask yourself--or find out--what impact they are having, what their production is doing in the world--to workers, communities, environments, families, economies, animals. Are you investing in things that have a constructive impact, or in things that are wasteful, inefficient, polluting or cruel? It's not hard to switch. We can't stop every bad thing companies and governments are doing--but we don't have to support them either. Not doing so is an act of integrity and consistency that sets an example and creates an energy in the world. And if enough of us do that, eventually it will have an economic impact on those evil-doers we have shunned which may invite--or force--change. Bottom line: If no one is buying it, they can't sell it. And because Americans consume more and destroy more--exponentially!--than anyone else on this planet, positive changes in our consumption patterns and habits touch every corner of the globe. This is what "Be the change you wish to see in the world" means to me.