Image Courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net Seriously, do we need so much clothes in our wardrobe when we don't wear them all? What impact will out consumerism have on future generations?
What are the Impacts on our kids if we keep consuming this way?
Consumption has become such an unquestioned way of life that the buy nothing day campaign seems like a radical idea to most of us. What? You want me to buy nothing for a whole day, are you serious??
Here are just a few of the impacts and consequences of a consumerist culture on our next generation:
As parents we are behaving in ways that says to our children “I am what I have.” Both they and we interpret this as the guide to defining the self. Do we really want our children to find their sense of self through things they acquire? Wouldn’t we rather they concentrate on their qualities as a person to find their sense of self?
If we say that success is about making money to buy lots of nice stuff; are we creating a generation that looks inwards and is narcissistic? Does this mean we will have a whole generation of people out for themselves not contributing to their communities; not able to build lasting relationships, or not able to feel happy in the moment?
Are we helping to create a disposable culture and a generation that creates more waste for the planet to dispose of? Are we doing them out of skills by not asking them to fix things, but rather to just throw things away and buy another thing? If we are doing this, then will the fixers of the world die out? Will skills of great importance like carpentry and problem solving disappear? One things for sure, the increase in waste and packaging will eventually destroy our children’s and our grandchildren’s environment.
Are we helping to create a “look good culture” where the outside needs to look good despite the emptiness on the inside? Do we really want this empty future for our children?
Are we raising our children’s expectations to the point where they believe they are entitled just because they breathe? When they move from home into a share house, will they expect new furniture and belongings, or will they accept the useful second hand furniture handed to them from supportive friends and family?
Isn't it our job to teach our children to be independent; to contribute to their communities in a positive way?
Ok, so it’s looking pretty bleak at this point if I continue to consume in the same way I have in the past. Not just for me, but for my children, it will undoubtedly end in tears. It’s almost impossible to live in the western world and not consume in some way. So the question for me is how do I limit my participation? When I do consume, how do I do it reasonably and ethically? How do I turn my attitudinal change into behavioural change? Not the easiest challenge I have set myself.