The Seven Stones Blog

Buy Nothing. Be Something.

By Gina LaRoche

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Last year in my blog, What Matters Most as I reflected at Thanksgiving I wondered, “…if all it has become is a day off from work to eat and rest ourselves to prepare for what truly matters most—shopping. And more specifically: the intense shopping in the run up to the holidays…”

When I first started my inquiry into sufficiency and scarcity in 2002 I regularly read a magazine called Adbusters. Back then they called for a boycott of “Black Friday” and advertised and asked us all to observe “Buy Nothing Day.” This year, the Story of Stuff and other organizations are promoting “Buy Nothing, Do Something Day” for Friday. They request that instead of going shopping and getting caught up in the frenzy of it all to pause and spend time playing, visiting, resting with friends and family. See the great film encouraging us to escape the grips of scarcity this Friday.

Yet for me, who hates shopping on any day of the year and wouldn’t shop this Friday if paid to do so, there is something missing for me in the messages to Buy Nothing and Do Something. Maybe buying something isn’t the whole problem. Maybe the inquiry about who we are being this Friday is a more relevant question? No matter what we DO on Friday we will consume the water we drink, the food we eat, the fuel we burn either in our home, cars or on public transportation. Water, food and fuel all cost something in some way whether the money comes out of our bank accounts directly or not. We all consume always, particularly those of us in the west; however, we do not have to have the role of consumer define who we are.

I ask that we pause this week and before we choose how to define ourselves this Friday, take a moment and ask:

  • How am I connected to my community?
  • Can I find gratitude for something at this time of year regardless of my circumstance?
  • Where can I have compassion for those around me who are suffering?
  • How can I embrace that love is always the answer?
  • Do I know in my heart of hearts that I am enough?

However we spend this Friday, I request we all be mindful of our choices and BE something.

 

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