Monday, November 9, 2009

on your shopping habits and where my paychecks go

It's easier to be stagnant
than to want something to change.
Easier to stay comfortable in our first world living rooms
televisions on, food in the cupboards.
It's easier that way.

Keep your distance
from what and who is broken in this world.
Maybe send a check to a charity.
Yeah, that's the way to go.

It's more difficult to find what is simple
in a world this complicated.
Harder to find time for real life
when the cell phone is ringing
on the bedside table.

We become more shallow as our
accumulation of things and stuff gets deeper.
Acquire, buy, sell, pay the rent, make a profit.

Go to college for what?
So you can equate excess with success
and accumulation with personal growth?
Or are you doing it to do what you love?
To make a difference?
To fight for something that actually matters?
For you and me, I hope it's the latter.

What an empty life and superficial existence.
Yet few fight for more than that.

Sometimes and in some cases, less is more.
I think life is one of those cases.

You can have your designer jeans
and fancy things.
Keep your fifty dollar shoes that
reek of waste and the American Wreck.
Watch the NFL game on your
larger-than-life television screen
that no one really needs.

A family could eat for months (maybe years)
on what we spent last year on frivolities
and junk we won't use again, or ever.

You know how much it takes to provide
a permanent well for a village in need
of clean water?
Water to brush teeth, to bathe in,
to drink to avoid disease and death?
Two thousand. Dollars.

But never you mind.
What I am saying is obviously written
toward somebody else. Not you or me.
We have bills. We are exempt.

Because you need that television,
and that SUV that the pretty
bikini-clad lady told you that you need
to find happiness, and maybe have some sex
or a hot date.
You need job security, and the nice apartment
with a closet full of clothes you will never wear.

When people finally find Love,
and the rich finally meet the poor:

I hope there are no more big screens.
I hope designers go out of business.
I hope that we learn to take care of those in need
before pampering ourselves.

I hope we start to find what is Real and True.
I hope that we fight the American Dream
of excess of waste,
of consumerism and greed.
I hope we turn off our televisions
and go outside
to dance in the sunshine or the rain.

I hope we provide microfinance loans for small businesses,
giving up what we don't need to give to someone else.
Putting others before ourselves.
Learning that looking good and owning lots of crap
just makes you another face in the crowd.

When love wins, I hope there is no 'us' and 'them' anymore,
just people who need one another, who need community.

Just people who know how to Live. Not just exist for themselves.

I hope I learn to be that way too.