I’m going through this phase in my life where I’m getting really sick of our American culture. It’s so much about consuming. Consuming food, consuming “must have” clothes and products, self medicating through consuming. Buy buy buy and then buy some more because what you first bought isn’t good enough anymore.
I especially have trouble in the new mother department. Once we find out we are pregnant we get visions of toys, clothes, nursery rooms and highchairs in our minds. Must consume, must have the perfect baby room.
I’m a victim of this myself, although not so much as some people. Both of my cribs were free and most big purchases were made into little ones by buying used things. Really, you can almost get anything free or under 25 bucks if you look hard enough. The only big things we do buy new is car seats because I don’t trust used ones. I do like buying new clothes but I also turn around and give them away for free and lend them out after. Yet I still ashamed of how much of a consumer I can be sometimes. ( sorry, I hope that didn’t make me sound like a hot head about this. I’m not.)
I think about Jennifer Lopez spending 100k on her twin’s nursery. That just kills me. How frivolous! Those babies couldn’t care less if they were sleeping in cardboard boxes! Yes it might be a small expense to the millionaire but how sad. Really, it’s terribly sad. What could 100k buy for people who don’t have a place to rest their head tonight? How many villages could have clean water from 100k?
I think about the images I’ve seen of children in poor countries. I’ve played with children in Mexico who’s homes are made of cardboard. They have to urinate in the streets. There’s toddlers running around the streets in Ethiopia, sleeping on the cement, wondering if they’ll eat again soon. I saw their faces last night on American Idol and my stomach turned. I tasted bile in my throat, it’s too much for me to see. The harsh reality is SO sad. Those kids are sleeping on cement and J-lo’s cashmere clad kids are sleeping on silk for no good apparent reason other than to fulfill the American’s lust for consuming things. Mine is bouncing in an exersaucer while another child’s head is bouncing off the pavement from the violence going on in Africa. It’s so sick and it’s so sad what little amount of money it takes to give one of those children some food and shelter.
Ethiopia is the country that Brent and I hope to adopt from one day. That’s all I can think of to do for them. Seeing the kids there, thinking about a possibility that my future child is going to be born there, or even alive in those conditions right now is so hard for me. I want to take them the moment they’re born. Bring them into my arms and hug them. I think it’s sad that those kids need to be brought out of their home country to lead a healthy life but it’s the reality of it. I wish I could make a difference for more than just one child. I feel so helpless.
Anyway, my point is. I wish we could stop for a second when our minds start going into crazy mode about getting everything ready for the baby and thinking about what our kids really need. They don’t need a fancy crib and if you DO need one with all of your heart then stop buying them new! They’re all over craigslist, I see them there every day! Your kids don’t need much to be happy. I slept in an old crib until I was five and I didn’t care.
So I’m thinking of a challenge. The next big purchase you make for your child or new baby, try and find it used first on craigslist, freecycle or kijiji…whatever you use. Perhaps with the money you save you could donate the difference to Charity so another child can have a bed and perhaps some food that night.