a brief social commentary #4. (i think therefore i consume.)

we are beyond survival. we have elevated ourselves from needs to wants, and with frivolous and rather embarrassing results. i do not know if any of you have traveled to a second or third world country but culture shock can really affect you, and sometimes worse upon your arrival home. when i was in india these past few weeks i had to face despair and utmost poverty, each day i had to walk by several people without homes, food, and no hope for either any time soon.

upon arrival to the states i had the opportunity to stay a couple days in new york city before i came home to florida. i was hanging out with a friend in soho, new york city and on the way to meet up i saw the most gratuitous store i may have ever encountered in my life. it was an entire store that was dedicated to dog clothing. sweaters, trendy t-shirts, even upscale collars that were studded with random diamonds and jewels, kept in a glass case for display.

normally i don't think it would have been a big deal to have seen a store like that but having just arrived off a plane from kalcutta, india this was utterly shocking and like i said before rather embarrassing to know that in mexico city thousands of people are looking through the trash for spare pieces of aluminum or other types of metal so they can afford a meal tomorrow. in africa today a boy's stomach pains are keeping him inactive; with no energy to even cry out for help. in kalkutta i saw with my own eyes a man walking on his knees, his back had been broken and now he hobbled on all fours and used rags around his legs so that the impact of the asphalt was minimal because he had no money to afford any type of medical attention.

we are beyond survival, we have met all the basic needs of cloths, shelter, food, and clean water; we are so frivolous that instead of buying a pair of pants for $19.00 at GAP we have moved on to $119.00 at nordstrams, and i am guilty as well. i refuse to point fingers or single anyone else out because i am one such consumer. i love starbucks, i could make the coffee myself at home, but instead i drive my suv across town and get my (almost) $4.00 cup of coffee.

i don't know whats next, something has to change in my life. i think this is just one area where i am out of balance. i don't have the answers either, i don't know what the medium is between enjoying life to its fullest and being a conscience consumer aware of the worlds needs and problems in ever fiscal transaction.

a lot in our society that we view as a normality or even a cause now appears to be a luxury to me now. take for instance PETA, an organization that i believe is a bit eccentric at times but overall i am against cruelty towards animals. PETA to me now appears to me to be a first world countries luxury more than anything else. we are now living so above our means that we can not only eat on a daily basis and choose what we eat, but now we can label what we eat 'good' or 'bad' morally. men, women, and children all over the world would give anything for a morsel of food today, and they could not care less which way it was or wasn't prepared or whether it was vegetarian, vegan, or whatnot.

i am not here to criticize the cost or moral deliberation of items or organizations, i am simply pointing out that there needs to be a reformation of all consumers in our culture. i am not the leader of this revolution because the cost of my wallet alone could have fed a small village, and the cost of my daily coffee half of what a farmer is paid in nepal for the purchase of his daughter being sold into sexual slavery. i am not the leader of this change but am willing to be a participant in the rising tides of change.

Comments

Christopher B said…
I've enjoyed reading through. I agree that PETA is one example of how 'spoiled' we are as a society. One of the most horrible things to see is someone who has lost more than a material possession - their health. Incapable of doing things we take for granted like breathing without pain, and incapable of paying their way to recovery (if they ever knew what healthy was).
You know, i don't really understand Peta. They have people of somewhat status to help them get thier name and cause out and reach other avenues. But these people indulge in such "sports" as hunting where it involves hurting animals. How is that supposed to teach us anything besides hypocrisy?

The thing with us humans is that, we can never be fullfiled because of desire. We will always want more and desire something else. i.e why we always go shopping for new jeans/clothes/cds etc. Why people cheat. It never is enough. And no it doesn't make it right.

It is so hard to always be morally correct. I mean e.g how many of us own ipods? Did you know a worker in the apple factory gets paid $54 a week to make those ipods?

Also the tough thing with cheaper garments are that... alot of the bigger chain and/or cheaper garments are made from sweat shops. Whereas "some" designer clothes are made by proper machinists and sometimes even handmade. So that being said, if you were to buy cheaper clothes that are made from a sweat shop, are you doing the morally correct thing even if you do save $100?
Do we research every variable before purchasing a product?

It really does my head in when i think about it all, i have no answers only questions. But i definately believe we all need to be more then just aware and act on that. Whether its the fight against AIDS, poverty, or global warming. Our actions affect the world we live in and especially what our childrens children will live in.
Every little bit counts.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your trip with us. Whether you know it or not, you've done so much for us. You've made alot of us think and become aware of real issues outside our comfort zone. You've given us an option of actually doing something for the better. Thank you Stephen.

<3 Robyn
sj. said…
i'd give you a hundred thousand kudos if there was a button on which i could click. im left speechless by the last three posts.
human depravity. its so sad i find no more words than to just cry.
i pray Jesus comes back sooner rather than later.
Toni Marie said…
Well said, Stephen.
I don't understand some of my friend's needs for things like hundred dollar coach purses or $250 jeans.
In my town, we have an organization called "Feed My Starving Children." You get a small group together and go there for 2 hours to package food which they then ship off to other countries in need and stay there to help feed the starving children for as long as they need it. There are only about 2 or 3 locations in Minnesota. Do you know how many they told us it would take to erase hunger in the world? Twenty five.
Liane said…
PETA = terrorist organization full of hypocrites, but that is another topic for another day. There is a Penn & Teller "BS" episode on Showtime about them that was extremely eye opening and shocking to me. Check it out if you can find it.

I am guilty too of the $119 jeans at Nordstrom as you well know. Do we need these material things? No, but I guess we like them. I don't know for me if its so much about the monetary status of the item as the quality of it. It is hard to find that balance isn't it? Stephen, I think the things you are doing in the world via these mission trips and your other ventures are wonderful. But should we feel guilty for living in the country we live in, or for buying that $4 cup of coffee? I don't know, sometimes I do I guess, and sometimes I just feel like we are in different parts of the world and things are different here. The person above that said it is worse to see someone lose their health is worse than losing material posessions is so right. But do what you are called to do to help others, and help as much as you can - that's all we really can do. We just need to open our eyes more sometimes and watch for those opportunities to do good things.
David Malcolm said…
I find myself agreeing. I recently had a lecture in my sociology class about the consequences of our capitalist economy on the third world. It struck me how the only groups making an effort to fight for basic defence of the poor and exploited were largely secular. Yet we have huge "Christian" organizations like Focus on the Family who throw millions of dollars and tons of political clout into trying to keep gays from getting married, when it seems it would be far wiser to use all that power to help people in the third world.
Antoinette said…
At times, it's hard for me not to be tempted to buy certain things when I want them and know I can afford them. I've never felt the need to go out and buy a Coach bag or hundred dollar jeans, but I do still spend too much money on things that I don't need. I guess it depends on a lot of things, like advertisements, that try to tell us how to live. I think a lot more people would be willing to change or help out in some way if they think current issues affect them. Sometimes people only want to think about themselves.
Alice-Bo-Balice said…
My mom and I were just talking the other day about the whole PETA thing and how rather then being an activist for animals rights, why not be one for people in another country who are starving, or don't have clean water.
Americans are so spoiled.
Dianna said…
Thank you for posting this, Stephen. Your writing nearly brought me to tears. As I write this, I am sitting in the common room of a house that I'm living in while in Oxford, England, for a study abroad program. I am so incredibly blessed to be here and yet, I sometimes feel like such a consumer. Money that is going toward my education so that I can study in one of the most prestigious libraries in the world could have been used to pay for so much more to help God's people.

But I don't believe God would have us feeling guilty about it. There is a sense of shame that comes with knowing that God would have us do something better with our money and that is the Spirit, I believe, prompting us to do the right thing. Guilt, on the other hand, comes from an entirely different and evil source - God does not make us feel guilty.

However, the one part of your post I question is your seeming unwillingness to be the leader of such a movement. Why be only a participant and not a leader? You are in such a position as to be a great leader of this and you have already shown by example God's love to hurting people of the world. Why the reluctance to identify yourself as a leader? You certainly already are.

That was all rather disjointed, but I hope you understand my point. If you want, you can contact me at dianna.anderson@usiouxfalls.edu

-Dianna
Sarah Noel said…
this is one of my biggest weaknesses- top three.

i think about this often, but feel as if i've trapped myself in this lifestyle. i know there's a way out, but i'm not there yet. Progress is the word.

its sad for me to think that what i consider my tight budget would be a life of luxury for someone in a third world country.

thank you for the reminder.
Anonymous said…
Stephen, i must say that i have to agree with EVERYTHING you have mentioned in this post. I come from an immigrant family out of (colima)Mexico and quite often visit the cities and towns out there. From the plane you can see the barrios (poor neighborhoods) of mexico city and to think how selfish i have been to my parents when they cant buy me etc. It makes me feel like a worthless human being. we in the US have it all, but for some reason everyone (including myself) takes education, love, prosperity etc for granted.

you are a very wise man.I knew that one day you would post something about this topic. Thank you for bringing it up.

Much love
Grace
Anonymous said…
I've had the same exact feelings today (and not the first time), Stephen!! $4 cup of coffee, over-priced clothing, dog collars, expensive meals, suv's, stores dedicated to dressing up your home and kitchen.. the list is endless. The one thing I make it a point to do is never complain (a tough one!!), always give what i can (time included), and when life gives us lemons just remember we are alive.

not sure if this helps but just giving my thoughts to your entry.
have a great day.
kristin
Rachek said…
I often find myself asking the same question as you presented in this post. Where is the medium between enjoying and making the most of the lives we have been given along with all the luxuries we are presented with and not blindly lavioushing ourselves with unnecessary means. I've concluded for myself to make a daily decision to be a good steward with my income and buy what I need and only what I need. If there is something I want, i'll wait and bide my time and ask myself if i'll feel such an urgency to spend that cash tomorrow. Often i'll leave it unpurchased.

'where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' (matt 6:21)

I think we are often deceived, at least i feel for myself that my income is for me and my expenses only. A cycle I hope to break as I'm more and more beginning to realise, that I am blessed to bless others.
Anonymous said…
Many of us, if not most, are guilty of taking everything we have for granted. And I recognize myself for feeling guilty from time to time. As humans we are never satisfied because we are always wanting more.
I love how you pointed out PETA. It is a great example to show how spoiled we are. I've never really gotten PETA though. Their campaigning often disgusts me more than anything.
I don't think there are enough people who know how to give back and help others that are really in need instead of continuing with the high amount of consumerism that our society is centered around.
Jennifer said…
Just a couple things I want to comment on.

I loved reading that. I'm really wanting to go to India after I graduate. My step mother went there and it kinda inspired me.

I would like to know more and more and more about your trip if you're willing. Thanks.
-Jenn
bluekidcory said…
you make good points. i find pickiness to be one of our worst attributes. we pick and choose while others don't even get the chance to have. your views are refreshing to have.
TOODLES
e m g said…
i too have been in a third world country and felt these same things upon returning home.

i remember before i left the airport in boston i bought a Starbucks coffee at the gate. when i arrived in Haiti i realized that the 8 dollars i had spent on coffee and poundcake was the equivalent of one teachers salary for 6 months.

now i cant say that i havent had starbucks since that experience, but i have yet to find a real way to reconcile that feeling, save maybe to move to Haiti and be a real part of the solution, which i intend to do someday. i dont have all the answers either, but i believe it is important to ask yourself questions.

i am so glad that you were able to go on this mission trip and i think you writings will inspire more people to get out there and make a change in out world.
Kate said…
in the NY Times this morning there was an article about "wiring the third world" and "one laptop per child" for third world countries...in light of your recent experience and that which you have been relaying to us about your trip via modesty, it seems to me we should be more focused on feeding the third world instead of wiring it. just thought i'd share.
kate
(p.s. dismantle.repair is the most amazing thing i've ever heard, right next to Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen)
Kat said…
I couldn't agree more with you. Actually, I agree with everyone who has commented. America's standards have skyrocketed. It's insane how we are so ignorant to the fact that even though we may support fundraising and mission trips and all that jazz, we don't really do anything to help it.

You're a very smart man. I'd like to know your opinion about this (http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2007/01/22/news/122740.txt) as well. When I read your entry, this popped into my head.

-- kat.
acityofrefuge said…
I don't believe that it was merely "fate" that had me come across your blog. Its very refreshing that their are people like you out in the world.....I have been to Brazil three times on missions trips and i can definately relate to what you are saying.

In the past week or so i have been thinking and trying to figure out what i could do in my community to make it better......but i was hesitant because i wasnt sure if i would be helpful enough or have enough "skills" to do something. By reading your last few blogs it has refreshed my mind on alot of things and i realize i need to get started on these things....because "almost" helping isnt enough....things need to be done. your passion for the world is awesome

Thank you Stephen
Brightest said…
This entry made me feel ashamed of myself. I am a perfect example of what you are talking about. I buy, buy, buy, and buy. I love my clothes and I buy outfits that just hang in my closet just in case I might possibly have a place to wear them. When it comes time to get rid of clothes, I don't want to. I figure I might need them again, and wouldn't it be terrible if I didn't have that perfect outfit?

I kid you not Stephen, my biggest worries in life are getting a hair appoitment in time so my roots aren't bad, or deciding whether or not I'm going to go brunette next month. It's absolutely ridiculous.

I constantly tell people to appreciate their lives and the little things in life, but I'm not sure I do the same. The little things to me are some one calling me beautiful, or holding open a door, not having food, shelter, and being able to do the things I desire in life.

Maybe someday I will change, but I'm not sure my dreams of a white 7 series BMW will fade.

Thanks for writing this. Perhaps now I will be able to recognize the things I do and next time I am about to purchase my fourth pair of black peep toe pumps I will think about it.

Have a great tomorrow and ever sir. :)
Self said…
I don't know if you´ll ever read this, but I had to say something, excuse me if there's something wrong in my writing, but my english is kinda rusted, I live in Peru, latinamerica.
Human nature... is it good? evil? or just selfish, I see poverty too around my city, children on the streets, old people with no hope in their eyes, and sometimes it makes me wonder how do we got there? I live a decent life, and have everything I need, and a lot more, But Im selfish on my own....and if I cant change, if Im just another pawn in this game, then why should I expect that things get better?, the world is dying, Africa is a good example, my country is better but still... is there hope? I don´t know the answer but thanks to what you wrote I know I have to try more and harder.
Life is not what you have, is what you can give.
Thanks.
Lianne said…
Robyn, you're right. Cheap clothing is MOST likely made in for example China, where children and women work under poor conditions and receive very, very little money. But this also includes brands like Puma, Adidas and Nike.

The good news is: there are many brands that offer hip, nice clothing that is actually CLEAN. Which means, the farmers who grew the cotton used no chemicals (harmful - both for the people who gather it and the environment) ánd they get enough money for it. The persons who sew the clothing work under reasonable conditions and get enough money to make a living of it.

Those brands can be found at the website www.made-by.nl, Made By is a Dutch/European organisation that does its utmost to enlarge the market for honest and clean fashion. Personally, I like Kuyichi the best: www.kuyichi.com

Besides that, check www.yoistore.nl (it's english) you may not be able to visit the store, but it might inspire you to look for something similar in your own country :)
emily said…
I'm not sure if you've heard of it, but there is an organization called Blood:Water Mission who's goal it is is to bring clean water wells and medical assistants to various people. A friend of mine had the goal of saving any money should would have normally spent on drinks: soda, coffee, alcohol and save it to be spent by Blood/Water. It was simple and there was a tangible way to make a difference that impacted her own life as well. I thought that might be something for us to think on

-Emily
Kelly said…
I recently learned in my social psychology class that it is more or less psychologists faults for the consumeristic attitudes that society has today...infact it all began with Freud and a cigarette advertisement way, way back in the day...

That's really cool that you have traveled so much
Marny said…
Your last few posts have really struck a chord with me. They have touched on issues that I've been really thinking about for a little while now.

Thanks so much for the lovely eloquent thoughts!!!

Marny
emily said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
N. Thayer said…
Hey Stephen,

I truely believe that people in America are very spoiled, I mean im very grateful for everything i've beem blessed with by the lord, but i know that i could do better to manage my money - i could donate some - but in reality when it comes down too it - we've become so numb to everything around us - all we think about is ourselves and the wonderful things we have in America...

it's sad

but sometimes - when we feel helpless - and we are in the midst of a huge battle with ourselves and the more important things in life - all we can do is pray that God will help us grow into a more mature, stronger people... A people that can maybe one day - change the world.

See you soon,
Nathan
Josh H. said…
I'm for PETA:
People Eating Tasty Animals
el clinto said…
S-
You have a blog?!?!?!
Rad. anyway..

I just emailed you some video from the Kolkata trip.

-cmac
Adam said…
Stephen,
I have been struggling with many of the thoughts that you have mentioned in your last post. My parents are missionaries in Guatemala. I lived in Guatemala for two years and it was a very enriching experiencing. I was able to experience so many things that gave me a much broader appreciation for life and the things that I have been blessed with. Last year I graduated High School and moved back to the US. I hate to say it.... but I seemed to slowly forget alot of the things that I had learned... About two weeks ago I returned to Guatemala to visit and help my parents for a few weeks. It has been incredible what things are coming back to me. Last week I spent the week in a village doing construction on a cement block school for the children that are involved in my parents ministry. I purposefully left behind my Ipod, computer, cell phone, or any other electronic distraction that I own. It felt so liberating to spend time with the needy and learn from their love for life when they have very little... it is very eye opening to think about. It's awesome that you have been learning these things for yourself.
Adam
Jeremy B said…
Thank you Stephen! Thanks for going to India and for sharing your experiences. Thanks for being open to God that he might open your eyes and heart. Your experiences speak of what my heart cries out. Yet my own experiences don't always line up with how I live. Having traveled to many different countries, I am thankful for all that God has taught me and how he has opened my eyes. I know that when I read your blog about our experiences in India, God touches my heart and moves me to cry out and agree with your heart. As you wrote in Anberlin's new song "DismantleRepair",

"hands like secrets are the hardest thing to keep from you
lines and phrases like knives your words can cut me through
dismantle me down repair you dismantle me
save me from myself
help me save me from myself"

Your blog and your music resonates within me for God to change me, my heart, what I have become, that he might cut through me and save me from myself. Thank you.
CL said…
Stephen, Man thanks for sharing this thought. I think that you capture what so many of us struggle with. I have little to say except I know that I am hypocritical in many ways about this, because I believe in living more simply yet am a slave to living wastefully. It is bondage. I recently read a couple of books, you might like them, they are: Death by Suburb by David Goetz and The Jesus of Suburbia by Mike Erre. These two books have really helped me with my perspective and speak directly to our struggle with consumerism and replayed denial that its a problem. Or maybe it that we are so used to our new lives in things, that we no longer want to see it. As Paul says our battle is not against flesh or plastic, our battle is one of the spiritual kind. I think this is Satans most succesful tools against people. Thanks again for sharing! Shalom!
Anonymous said…
more or less unrelated but... www.petakillsanimals.com
Meg-a-roni said…
Also, to go along with the consumerism of this world, you should look into fairtrade. It is something that I am learning about from the English culture, that we as americans should learn. It takes the trade imported from other countries and makes sure that the farmers that worked for that trade are paid fairly for their crop. Starbucks is a huge non-fairtrade company. They pay their workers horrible prices for their coffee, and in turn make a huge profit off of it. For the $4.00 that you pay for your cup of coffee, the farmers only see about 3 cents of it. Look more into it and see for your self!!!
Anonymous said…
you. legend.
-Jocelyn Q- said…
I've had so many chances in life to see exactly what you're saying, and to live by it, and yet I am living a materialistic life. Recently being in Haiti and Jamaica, and seeing the poverty, I felt so ashamed, yet when I came home, i'm doing nothing about it. I thank you for the reminder you have given all of us. Being in the country we are, it's impossible to not buy into the materialism, but maybe think before buying into it, and what else the money can make a difference.
-Jocelyn
smb0621 said…
Hello! I'm a big fan of your music--but that's not what I came on here to say. I wanted to say that you're right. I have so much and I take so much for granted. When you think about it, even some of the poorest of Americans can be the wealthiest people in the world--and I live in West Virginia, so I know what 'poor American' looks like.

We have so much in our lives--ridiculous amounts even! I mean, people build careers out of reinventing old products to get more Americans to buy more stuff they don't need. Perhaps instead we should think about what we can offer to someone else and not what jeweled collar matches our little doggie's fur color the best.

I've been thinking about what I would be willing to give up for the sake of someone else. I know that Jesus, who I believe in, has called me to a life that loves and gives. I've been thinking about that alot lately. Thank you for posting this--perhaps this will help encourage me to live my life in a way that truly loves my God by loving those He gave Himself for.
neil anglen said…
i just recently wrote about this in my xanga.(http://www.xanga.com/Lines_In_Chalk)if you'd like to read it's under the heading of "just a thought". when i look around at the people i come into contact with everyday, i feel sick. my roomate who is my best friend owns i believe now 11 pairs of shoes. he just got 2 new pairs last week. its insane to think about how the rest of the world does without. from a Christian standpoint, i understand that i was merely blessed by God Himself to be born in America, but i think we need to evaluate our lives and ask ourselves at what point does it shift from blessings from God to material goods that we want for our own selfish needs. i would just like to take this time to say i respect you Mr. Christian both as a fellow human being and an imitator of Christ. You set such a great example of what true Christianity is to the point where you've even inspired me in my own walk with Christ. thank you very much. keep up the good work. later.
crystal. said…
reading these comments..dearlord. now its a sin to Not murder innocent animals and eat their flesh? peta and 'spoiled'...poor people are vegetarians as well.. hahahaha. seriously, your music is good. but you should lay off the vegetarians...oh, and vegetarians dont hunt, robyn. grow up.
Angel said…
This country's culture (if you can call it that) has without a doubt gone far beyond frivolity and indulgence. It is, as you put it, embarassing. Just look at casinos in this country...

However, regarding your statement about vegetarianism/veganism - in most cases, the decision to stop consuming meat or other animal-based products is usually a result of utter disgust for how the animals are treated throughout the course of their lives. The killing of animals for food as a whole is not wrong, especially when it is essential for survival. But in most cases in the meat industry, it has literally become overkill. Since we do live in a country where we are granted the ability to choose what we eat and consume, the decision to become vegetarian or vegan for moral reasons is anything but over-indulgent. Obviously, the starvation and poverty of any nation, or any one person, for that matter, is truly awful, but we cannot let it prevent us from making use of the options that *we have available to us regarding what we eat and consume. (Keep in mind, I make this statement regarding my stance on veganism only. I do, however, believe that the manufacturing and purchasing of little sweaters for poodles is ridiculous. Obviously, that kind of money can be spent on better causes...) Since the consumption of animal products is not essential for our survival, most vegetarians/vegans choose this lifestyle because they don't want to be in any way associated with the cruelty most animals in the industry have to endure. I know that as a vegan, I probably won't single-handedly change the world. I also know that if I were in a situation where I had to eat meat to survive, I would. But right now, we live in a society where animals, as a whole, aren't granted enough respect and consideration, and they end up falling victim to over-indulgence when they are killed in bulk.

I apologize for my long-windedness. I'll step down off my soapbox now.
Jenny said…
A friend of mine spent a month last summer in a few different areas of Kenya. The people out there had very little and rarely even had the luxury the west forgot (their health). When she came back sha had many idealistic theories for changing the way she lived but less than a month later, she went shopping and spent £179 on a pair of jeans with her reason being that she "could". I was astounded at the fact she could have had the experience in Kenya that she did and still be able to physically buy a pair of jeans where the "exchange" value outstrips the "use" value ten-fold.

As ideological subjects we are very succeptable to advertising & the consumer driven life that the media dictates we should be living.
All people in the west ever seem to want is more "things" to amuse themselves with when in reality, we're amusing ourselves to death & loving it. Whereas in the Eastern third world countries, they feel blessed to have one of their parents still living or that they haven't been sick for a week. Most people aren't even aware this is even going on in the world.

You have had an experience that not many can say they have (including myself) and what you experienced has had an impact on you, but is it great enough for you to not buy another wallet till the one you have is sufficiantly unuseable? Or maybe buy less coffee? Don't get me wrong, I'm most certainly not judging but Starbucks unfortunatly epitomises consumerism. Though the coffee may have a wonderful & satisfying taste, the Starbucks brand is detrimental to everything I've said in this comment because I too, regrettably have a like for drinking £4 cups of coffee. Though I know what the Starbucks brand stands for, I can't bring myself to break the consumeristic cycle of trotting off to university in the morning with a steaming latte in my hand.

Drinking coffee doesn't make you a bad person. It may make you a caffine addict but that isn't crime. We are blessed to have the things we do. Your experience gave you a heightened sense of humillity that has lead you to question yourself and your actions but unless you move to a third world country, there is no chance to escape the consumerism & "commodity fetishism" that the western world is fraught with every day. Many people don't even realise how privileged they are just to still be breathing. Just never let yourself forget the way you felt when you saw that man on his knees in Kalcutta (and also never buy any diamond studded dog clothes... Or any dog clothes for that matter) and you should never forget how blessed you are just for being you.

I think I've commented enough now so I shall appologise if my ramblings make no sense and leave you with this; "The satisfaction that no longer comes from using the commodities is now sought through recognition of their value as commodities. - Debord

Jpxxx

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