I've been bouncing around on what to write today, so many ideas, so little coherency! But as I was walking around the supermarket for the umpteenth time this week, I started to think of how insanely privileged most of us are in the west. This isn't to say that we don't have poverty and people are living in squalid conditions and we should pay attention to that, like, immediately. I've been poor, I've been po'! Homeless, hungry, living in roach infested apartments, cold you name it so I know and I don't want to diminish the needs of those people. So if you consider yourself fortunate enough not to be in that situation, please read on.
I was just thinking about how easy it was for me to go get food. I decide I need pineapples for dinner, they don't grow here, but they're shipped here. I hop in my super cushy car complete with seat warmers and drive to the supermarket. I walk in, it's clean, bright, people greet me with smiles. I get my pineapples, which are already presliced even. Go to the cashier, hand over a piece of plastic, I don't even have to go get the money to pay. Finish my transaction, walk out, back to the cushy car and am home in about 20 minutes. In another part of the world, assuming someone can afford to feed themselves, there is no car, the market is a good hours walk or some sort of insane commute. What I paid for the pineapple can in some places feed someone for a week. What I spent in gas to get to the store, another week's worth of food.
If I am sick, I go to the doctor, I get a prescription, I go back for a follow up. I've been struggling with depression and that's exactly how my doctor's encounter went. Many people in the west don't even have that privilege, heck many people in Canada can't afford to go to the doctor because they live in the middle of nowhere and don't have money for gas. I go practice some self care in having a hot bath. The water in my tub could sustain people for a week. The energy it takes to create that water, could probably sustain them for a month. I bragged about buying a super fancy tea kettle which is programmed for 6 temperatures, I can't even begin to know what it would mean to people. My phone? My beloved iPhone, there's probably a body or a rape attached to that phone. Do folks even know this? There is immense civil unrest in areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo, for many reasons, but one of those is fighting over territory that covers the mines that mine materials for our phones. This violence has a huge focus on women and girls for some reason and rape is abundant.
It just boggles my mind sometimes to think of how privileged we are and I feel bad that I don't notice it enough. I'm on my save the world spree again so I'm sure some of you are rolling your eyes. I guess in the end, right now since I'm kinda busy getting my head screwed back on straight, is to be more mindful of my purchases, my actions, my life and what it might mean to someone else. Sadly there are people suffering right in our backyards so if you are inclined to do something to help, you needn't look far. I think however by simply thinking about what we consume and what it takes to produce them and what it might mean for someone else, we might be more inclined to help others. Hopefully once my head clears I can think of some meaningful way to do so.