How do we get a grip on consumerism? Ask a recovering alcoholic. It begins when we admit the problem. The first step on the road to freedom is to acknowledge what’s going on. In
The Shape of Living, Cambridge professor David Ford writes, “Naming is a
powerful act. . . . To name the situation brings it into language. Language is
shared, and to find just the right word links our experience to others”
Chapter 1 of Consumer Detox also talks about the complexity that is Consumerism. Being a Consumer is not all bad. Giving gifts, making necessary purchases, contributing to ethical and positive economic growth, buying fair trade and many other things are good reasons to consume. But left unchecked it can become all to easy to consume to much or at the very least to an unhelpful level. As the film above highlights.
So here goes. My name is Matt and I am a Consumer. I love the comfort and fulfilment that many of things I consume give me. I love to consume music, books, magazines and perhaps most of all great food and drink. I am aware that ultimately some of these things won’t bring me ultimate meaning and fulfilment, but I don’t think I could live without them either. I want a more simple and fulfilled life but am frankly scared of what that could mean and look like. I am not seeking to be a holy hermit who withdraws from life and consumption, I want to be real and engaged in the reality of living in 21st century society, but I want to spend and consume more responsibly, wisely and with greater generosity. I’m on a journey, I will stumble, get lost and over consume, but I won’t give in and just give up.