Reduce Your Need, Forsake Your Greed
Do we accept that we have played a part in creating the world that exists today? With every choice we take and purchase we make, we are co-creating our world. We, collectively, are totally responsible (or, irresponsible!) for the state of the planet.
These days, what can seem like a straightforward thing is often not. Take for example buying an apple. Where was the apple produced? Was it shipped over from the other side of the world? How much fuel went into its transport? And how many hours of labour did it take to produce it and get it to you? Is it full of pesticides; safe to consume? Or, do we simply eat the apple, oblivious to all of these aspects?
Let’s take another example: chocolate. Who picked those cocoa beans? Was child labour used? Were the workers paid fairly? Did the farmers who grew the crops get their fair share? Where do they get their milk from to make the chocolate? Is it from ‘happy cows’? Are the companies ethical and fair-trading? What about the paper and aluminum foil that covers the chocolate – where was that produced and how?
If you feel that I am overstating the point, then yes, maybe I am, but this is to bring the lesson home. Whatever you purchase, if you trace the item back, then you may see that its components have been through many processes that are not beneficial to the planet or its people, and in various forms it may have travelled around the globe a few times before it arrives at your door.
Producers will continue producing because their motive is to make money. But as a conscious consumer, I need to be aware of the consequences of my actions. I need to make deliberate choices, and not just purchase on a whim, or collect and hoard because an item is sold at a low price.
Every time we take something from the world we are ‘buying in’ to a long karmic chain. As we take from the world, we add to the supply/demand chain. The production then increases which means that more and more resources are depleted and more harm is done to our planet.
In fact, each one of us is partly responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer or the ongoing destruction of the planet. We cannot simply blame the big manufacturers or conglomerates for making all the trouble in the world. At the end of the day they are fulfilling our demand. In some way or another, we are the ones creating waves of devastation in the world.
The answer is a simple, but not necessarily an easy one. We must be more conscious and ask ourselves the question: how much do we actually need, and how much are we just fulfilling a want or a desire? If we don’t need it, then we needn’t buy it even if we have the buying power. Look around your house and in your wardrobe and fridge. You may find that a small fraction of what you own is enough to fulfill your requirements. Our greed and need for ever more items to boost our status and satisfy our egos is really what is destroying our planet.
Our future generations, should they survive, will ask the question, how did we cause so much devastation? What answer will we give to them?
Reduce your needs, forsake your greed, take less, and have compassion for the planet. Have mercy for the kids and laborers who have to work ever harder to get the chocolate to your palate! Be kind to the animals, that is, the cows and the crocodiles!
As we create an attitude of care, concern and thoughtful simplicity our hearts will be lighter and we will feel better and happier for it. If each one of us did our bit for the planet we may be able to stretch out our existence on this planet for a little bit longer. If we all carry on trying to satiate our wants and whims, then our own greed will eventually consume us.
It’s time… to think twice, and want less. Employ your conscience and become a conscious consumer. The world, and future generations, will thank you for it.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK