Have you seen this video? I find it so enlightening and humbling. Ever since hearing his words I have been perceiving price tags through a different lens: at what cost of my life is the product worth? Better still, I ask myself, how will trading hours of my life with this particular goods - food, clothing, books, etc - be an impact on my life?
It is such a cyclic question, in that the answer feeds back to the question and vice versa, and I can't help but just want to walk away from any material purchases. Of course, not negating the nutritional benefits of food and essential items of clothing deemed necessary for daily course of societal life, I find it becoming more difficult, than it already is, to purchase anything. It may be the becoming of maturity, or the dilution of seeing any material goods as any 'necessity' above the basic essential needs. Then, I find myself questioning: What is my basis of necessity, apart from clean water, air, access to electricity, healthy and preferably non-chemical contaminated foods? There are pockets of population in the world who now chooses to and sustains themselves away from "the grid", i.e. they are living a life away from the standard, urban model of depending on companies for these human essentials. As I learn more and become more aware of the world around me, I reflect on my life, on my upbringing, and the amount of consumption and impact I've made on this earth. I'm grateful that when I was very young, I've had the conscience for recycling and reducing the usage of plastic packaging, and with the misconception that I didn't want to add electricity bills to spiral my family into potential poverty, began the habit of switching off wall socket switches (this is in Australia - I have noticed that other countries don't necessarily have this feature), a habit which I still have today. Simple things, I admit, but I'll get there.
On another note, it is inspiring to see the goodness of some people, that with their courage, unwavering determination against judgements, who are able to stand up for their beliefs and refuse the temptations of greed for the benefit of the mass. So what if Jose Mujica is considered "poor" in the eyes of the first world countries, when his generosity can be seen in the smiles of his people? Likewise, it is heartwarming to see some countries open their hearts and lands to the fleeing Syrian refugees, to know that people are practising humanity, practising kindness, compassion and humility - not only just for each other, but by doing so, to cultivate the seed of hope for the next generation of humanity.
- Natasha Lin