“There is enough on earth for everybody’s needs, but not for everybody’s greed”- Ghandi.
I have now started this piece ten times over. What I didn't expect when I started to write about consumerism and parenting was that it would have a profound impact on me not only as a parent, but also as a human being.
What an internal struggle it has created for my head, my heart and, my conscious and not to mention my relationships to people and the world around me. Is it any wonder I struggled with coming to terms with my consumerism as a parent.
I was born in the 70’s and mostly grew up in the affluent 80’s. My Parents were young and didn't have a lot of money; in fact the only people around me who appeared to be rich were those on the TV shows like the Brady Bunch.
We were not dirt poor but we didn't have much to go around. I remember my sister telling me I use to play a game with her called 'Julie and Janes'. Julie who I played was rich and had all the finer things in life, Jane was poor and often had to steal from Julie, the game usually ended with Jane going to Jail and Julie relaxing in her holiday house.
So there it was from an early age I believed success = money and things. I do remember on many occasions my parent’s arguing about money or the lack of it, therefore I reinforced in my little head again money and lots of it = happiness.
Writing this piece has meant I have had to visit places of myself that I really didn't want to look at. I have had to examine 30 odd years of assumptions and come to terms with the fact that I have had an impact in shaping my children’s views on what’s important in life, sometimes not in the way I had hoped.
I always had a belief that because we didn't have much as children, that my children would not go without. Little did I understand until now was that not having much shaped my sister and me into the creative, independent, successful women we are today and having stuff does not equal happiness.
Now all this may sound a tad dramatic to those of you who are already wise about all things involving consumerism, but for me it was a rude uncomfortable awakening.