A Poem I Wrote about Consumerism


If there’s anything that keeps me up at night, it’s the heavy weight I feel with the lifestyle I am caught up in of not always being a responsible consumer. What principles am I teaching my children? Where is my self-control? Why don’t I always make wiser purchasing choices? And why is our lifestyle such, that I don’t feel I have control of what enters my home even when I am making conscious choices? And even if I was different, would that isolate me, would that offend people who are also on this rat race of consuming as much as they can afford? How does it stop? How do we start waking up and start taking a good look at the impact we have on this planet, our health, and our addictions?

So one sleepless night I wrote a poem. I have never written a poem before but the thoughts in my head that kept playing over and over again had a ring to it and the words just flowed out of me with ease. This poem isn’t meant to sugar-coat behavior, it is meant to shock because things that bring discomfort make you think. And with shock and discomfort brings change. The narrator speaking is an American which is why I give it this title:

America’s Society

More, more, more -what void are we trying to fill?
Is one gift not enough? Is it something about us we’re trying to conceal?

With this, more, more, more
one day isn’t enough, we’ve got holidays,
yes many holidays to celebrate with more stuff.
Then there’s birthdays, promotions, and congrats for doing good
yes there’s always excuses to compulsively give,
celebrating with more is what motivates me to live.

You see, I’m rich by location of where I was born,
and that right alone has earned me my things.
I don’t have time to be innovative to cut economies off my strings.
I’m too busy working and playing for all this stuff,
They should have been born, where it isn’t so tough.

Cause I need, more, more, more
You say there are those who are poor?
I’ll just build a factory and build economy so I can keep my habits up,
Yeah, that will shut them up.

Don’t talk about using my money to be innovative, creative, generous, and good,
yeah, my goods could help other mankind in far lands
to become self-reliant and free their slave hands
but that takes thought and time and my own assets
And I need those resources,
Yes, I need cheap sources to fill my big void up.

More, more, more
You say I don’t give?
I give plenty to those that live-
just as comfortably as I do to show that I care
And I buy earth’s resources to bring others out of despair.

Don’t tell me they’re a slave to me,
look at it like I made them free.
Sure the consumption comes with a price, yes a fee,
to not give back to our earth more than we receive.
But I see this as a new meaning to “stewardship.”
Mines better, and clever, and works in harmony,
with this idea that today’s “what we want”
can be tomorrow’s “old thing.”

I need more and more.
Yeah I know there’s places where times are tough,
that’s why I employ them to make me more of this stuff.

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