I haven't been around lately because I have been working at an undisclosed mid-to-upper tier retail establishment as Christmas help. The fact that my job is not only to enable consumption, but to make you consume more has challenged my values. I know consumption leads to container ships crashing into bridges and killing wildlife. I know consumption fills up landfills, off-gasses, and leads to a cycle of debt that threatens the health of our economy. I comfort myself with the notion that is only a month and while I work there I can help people think through their purchases.
The ironic thing is that as much as I hate consumerism I am very good at convincing people to buy stuff. It scares and facinates me. I think that I am good at it because I am honestly interested in helping people and I like the stuff I am selling (stemware, flatware, china, crystal, christmas stuff, and homewares). I like pretty, shiny stuff and that comes across as an endorsement that they should buy it. Yet, it makes me feel guilty.