Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Lately I've been thinking a lot about consumerism for many reasons:
  • Partly because the remodel has turned me into some sort of commando shopper. Who knew you had to buy so much STUFF for a remodel?!

  • Partly because I'm wrestling with what type of car to purchase. Are the environmental benefits of a hybrid negated if said hybrid is a luxury SUV?

  • And partly because I have been exposed to how quickly wealth can disappear. There are so many families battling cancer who don't have insurance or can't afford to miss work to care for their sick child. Money worries add such a big burden to an already stressful situation.
Then I ran across this amazing photo essay, what the world eats, showing 15 different families from different parts of the world, each pictured with one weeks worth of food that they consume. And in 15 simple pictures, perspective once again comes screeching to my front door. I would be thoroughly embarrassed to show the food that I eat in a week. And I think even more humbling would be a photo of all purchases made in a week.

Last year I committed to go two weeks without buying a single thing. No gas, no groceries, no clothes, no bottle of water, NOTHING. Frankly, it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. It certainly made me stop and think before whipping out my ATM card.

I guess the question is: I know I can do with less so why don't I?


Anonymous June 28, 2007 at 5:50 PM  

I too read this article and thought "thank goodness they didn't pick my family to do this!" Just think they didn't even have a category labeled chocolate?? What was up with that? But yes it did get me thinking about how much cash is wasted at least for Scott & myself on junk or eating out. Slowly changing that. As for the car thing. Go for what is right for you and your needs. If you need more space than the hybrid SUV is a good choice (minor detail it is a luxury). Plus it needs to pull a fishing boat, right? My two cents is that I love my highlander hybrid! Beth

Anonymous June 29, 2007 at 4:48 AM  

I love my Lexus and they now make it in a hybrid.You may want to take a look. I am off to Bend this morning.Hope all is well.

LCM June 29, 2007 at 8:05 AM  

I was just thinking that I need to go to Target less often. It's right by our house and there is always an excuse and everytime we do, we come home with at least 3x the amount of items that are on our list.
They would be shocked by how much our family buys when the youngest is on steroids!

Lisa July 1, 2007 at 4:07 PM  

Wow - amazing article. I too was thinking about consumerism as well as excessive luxuries this week. My best friend and I went to the day spa at her gym on Monday for a pampering afternoon. It was wonderful (massage and chocolate-papaya body wrap!) then dinner out, but on the way home I had guilty feelings about excessive spending. I kept thinking about the millions of poor in this world who don't have enough to eat, let alone have the opportunity or money to pamper themselves. Yes, I have had the hardest year of my life and my friend has been beside me every step of the way, so I guess I can justify alittle spoiling. I certainly cannot do it often though. We American's are SO wealthy compared with the rest of the world. What does God want us to do - how can we share this? We sponser a family and a child through World Vision, but is that enough? I don't know. I guess I need to keep asking Him. I guess that's my answer for now. I need to be going before the throne and asking what God wants me to do in obedience to Him - in every aspect of my life - money, kids, husband, etc......

Love your blog! You and I have many of the same wavelenths! =)


The Tucson Gang July 2, 2007 at 5:05 PM  

This was fascinating. I'm so glad you shared it. It absolutely made me stop to think about how many "conveniences" our family purchases in a week and take for granted.

That is an interesting question you raise too. Why don't I do more w/less? Think how great you would feel. I'm sure with careful planning and thoughtfulness I could do a week (not sure about two) without buying something. But, I think for me, some of it comes with time or the lack thereof. I am confident that there are busier people than myself, but the lack of time is one of the biggest reasons I can think of for why I buy the things I do. And, we too frequently come home from Target, Big Lots, name your store with way more than what was on our list. Impulse and convenience and lack of time (for planning ahead)I guess is my excuse.

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