Consumerism leads to disrespect not only of the earth’s resources, but of its people.
In reflecting on food scarcity, Pope Francis drew several parallels between throwing food away and throwing human life away. He suggested that our culture of consumption leads both to our reckless disposal of land, resources, and food, and to our neglect of our brothers and sisters. He also denounced our culture for being obsessed with money.
About 800 years ago, St. Francis of Assisi struggled with a similar problem. He had to act radically to counter this trend and turn people’s eyes toward the suffering of their brothers and sisters. Although Francis did many radical things, his most radical act was simply to love and care for creation. Francis realized the importance of a spiritual consciousness of creation and community. This consciousness catalyzed Francis’ compassion for those that society judged to be “lesser” of creation. Francis showed compassion not only for the poor and the lepers, but for plants and animals. He professed that concern for any of God’s creatures, great or small, overflowed into concern for all of God’s creation.
Adapted from Education for Justice
For it is in giving that we receive…
Francis of Assisi
A recent newscast reported that business is improved but that consumers are still buying what they need and not yet buying what they want. What does this say about our culture? How does it affect your own consumer behavior? How does it affect people’s real needs? Their awareness of global concerns?
Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:21 -33
In an age of overconsumption of scarce Earth resources, of forced extinction of species of wildlife, of dominance of humans over other members of the biotic community, and of pollution of Earth’s air, land and water, Francis of Assisi models alternative modes of consciousness and conduct.
Man is not in charge today; money is in charge, money rules.
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter.
Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.
Who is rich? He who rejoices in his portion.
The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.
Bryant H. McGill
It is advertising and the logic of consumerism that governs the depiction of reality in the mass media.
Contemplation is an alternative consciousness that refuses to identify with or feed what are only passing shows. It is the absolute opposite of addiction, consumerism or any egoic consciousness.
We live in an era of consumerism and it’s all about desire-based consumerism and it has nothing to do with things we actually need.
Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence – those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. If war, waste, and moneylenders were abolished, you’d collapse. And while you people are overconsuming the rest of the world sinks more and more deeply into chronic disaster.
To live fully, we must learn to use things and love people, and not love things and use people.
I was part of that strange race of people aptly described as spending their lives doing things they detest, to make money they don’t want, to buy things they don’t need, to impress people they don’t like.
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can.
There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more.
The other is to desire less.