I don’t like to give my money to the rich.
Sitting at a mall, I watch people with their pretty shopping bags and hundreds of dollars worth of purchases and I cringe. I am certain that ultimately, those dollars are going to people that live in very big houses and drive pretty fancy cars on extravagant vacations. It’s akin to taking my wallet out of my back pocket, taking money out, flagging down one of those wealthy people, and saying, “Here, please take this!”
And I have a problem with that. That’s why I haven’t been to a mall in years.
I understand the mechanics of capitalism, kinda, so save me the lecture. I just don’t take it upon myself to single-handedly stimulate or grow the economy, which is what our consumer culture seems to be challenging us to do. I understand that those wealthy people are ultimately creating employment for the common citizen from production to sales.
What I like is to walk into Aimee’s or Tory’s shop and support their businesses. Or to shop at my local Bi-Mart and know that that means that Robin, and Sean, and Stacy, and Jennifer and the rest of the crew are getting a decent paycheck to pay off their home or their vehicles. I’ll pay extra, within reason, if I know that my money is staying in my community. Furthermore, I love that they remember my name when I walk into the store. They remember and inquire after what’s going on in my life. They’ve watched my boys grow up.
It means that I LOVE going junking and scoring on fabulous buys without the smell and burden of plastic packaging. I love giving gently loved things a second lease on life. I have a million dollar closet at the fraction of the price. The price to pay is sitting across friends at party and one of them saying, “Hey, I had a pair of pants just like those and I just donated them to the thrift store!” I sport embarrassment for a split second and then ask, “And why on earth didn’t you hand them down to me instead of me having to pay $5.99 for them?!”
It means I love Vivi’s Vietnamese food cart where I can text Finn my order in and have him text me back that it’ll be ready in ten minutes. I can’t drive fast enough for that banh mi addiction!
So I’m teaching my boys that we shouldn’t buy things that we can make ourselves – within reason. We certainly don’t have to buy everything we want or see (hear the “No Gimmies” lecture in the van before we enter a store.) And that $8.00 that you’re about to spend on a fidget spinner to play with for a month (if that), I bet you can make it. I’m even willing to pay more for materials for you to make it.
So let’s go crazy creating, crafting, re-purposing, gardening, cooking, inventing, saving money. Let’s think about what we’re putting into and on our bodies and how we can simplify our lives. Let’s help out the billions of hurting people in the world. It sure is gratifying to give to someone less fortunate than I am. A lot more so than supporting the affluent.
That is food for thought…
(image from publicdomainpictures.com retrieved 10/6/17 5.40pm)