day 8…

After a lovely swim with Sephi, we went for a walk along Exeter Quay…only to find that the little coffee shop that we were heading to had closed for a New Years break.  Rats.

Not all lost, though, as we had wandered past a bit of graffiti that I thought would make an interesting picture for this 365 project…

Now, I know we’re beyond the festive frenzy of consumerism, but this picture has certainly set me thinking…when did generosity (the giving of presents to each other) become such a useful tool for maximising profit?

I’m not naive.  I know Christmas is basically all about spending money, whichever way we look at it.  But what makes it even worse is that the current economic crisis has heightened this.  We’re encouraged left, right and centre to spend as we’re “helping the recovery”.  I becomes almost our national duty to do so – high treason would be to have a frugal/self-made Christmas.  What we miss is we’re simply pouring more money into the big companies profits – the same companies that pay their workers the minimum wages and source their products from third-world sweat shops – all whilst maximising their shareholder’s profits and paying out huge bonuses to executives.  Boy, are we being held to ransom…

Let’s face it.  Capitalism looks bust.  What comes next…well, it could be painful for all of us, but I think we might emerge in a better state than we are in now.  A bit of enforced humility as India and China race past us mightn’t hurt as well…

So – maybe a challenge for me this year is to live a little more sustainably and a lot more generously.  This is a long term project, I think.

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