You Matter

photo of gray sneakers

Photo by Shane Kell on

I try to be positive about life, typically if I happen upon a pile of poop, I think, “Oh, look, fertilizer.” However, this time, I wasn’t looking where I was walking, and I accidentally stepped into the foul mess. I soon realized it was dog poop. The brown goo clung to my shoes, and it stunk, oh Lord, it reeks. I scrub my shoes on the grass and soon find it only makes matters worse. It’s hopeless. The only thing I achieved was to grind the brown goop further into my teeny tiny sneaker treads. I momentarily thought I should throw them out, but no, I couldn’t do that, they are practically brand new. Would you throw them out?

And on that note, have do you ever wondered why so many people make purchases on a mindless whim? You would think we eventually would realize the middle-class are being played for fools. But no, we don’t. And worse yet, we are all contributing to more pollution with our brainless buying. The big corporations have the people of North America right where they want them, on the hook for the next tempting product. Massive corporations use manipulative advertising inserted into several different forms of media every hour of the day. They do it to activate the desire in people to run out and purchase the latest and greatest gadget.

Six-months pass and then another newfangled contraption has exploded onto the advertising sites and captured people’s attention and their wallets. Before you know it, the secondhand stores are inundated by donations of that same fantastic plastic product that was all the rage not so long ago. No one wants yesterdays glamour. These former pieces that had gripped peoples greed are now relegated to the out of sight and out of mind place, where all trashy products go. The majority of the once-popular items will be tossed into the landfill, or even into the ocean. It is the final resting place, and there, the junk retires for several hundred lifetimes before it crumbles away.

There’s no doubt that adjusting to a new way of buying can be challenging, but why don’t we start by supporting smaller companies where we can purchase quality products that will last. Why don’t we use our beautiful minds to consider our reasons for spending hard-earned money on something new? When you are contemplating a purchase, imagine where the new item will eventually end up if it gets broken, or worn, or despised. Where do your cast-offs go? Are they made with durable materials so someone else can enjoy them a second time around? Or are they made with brittle plastic and paints that chip or fade?

I met a man a while back, and we were discussing recycling. “Yeah,” he said with a wave of his hand. “I used to recycle everything. Then I watched a documentary on garbage and pollution.” He paused, and his face tightened as he shook his head. “We are so screwed. The way I see it, it doesn’t matter what I do. I’m not wasting my time recycling.” Wow! My jaw dropped, I looked like I took too many benzos. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that  it won’t be straightforward to clean up our planet, but shouldn’t we try? Don’t be the guy who gives up and waves his white plastic flag shouting, “I surrender.”

Consider this, the middle-class people are the prime target for big companies because the middle-class people make up the largest group of consumers. You matter. We support the Billionaires whose supper, cost more than the average monthly mortgage payment. So, that being said, why don’t you and I and all the other middle-class folks create the change. We can demand quality products by refusing to buy crap. You matter, you are not invisible.  Corporations, in general, don’t look at anything else but the number of items sold, positive digits in the form of profit. Therefore, if the masses decide to buy quality over quantity, the change for more durable products has to happen. We, the citizens of the extensive middle-class, can make an enormous difference. You matter. As an individual, you have the final say on how you spend your cash. The choices we make together as consumers will have an impact on our kids, our neighbours kids, and all the future generations.

Stepping in dog crap can be a nasty experience, especially if it’s a monumental turd from a Great Dane. The initial thought after stumbling into a mound of feces might be to toss your shoes into the nearest garbage bin, out of sight and out of mind. But is that truly the answer? What if everyone took the easy way out? If the shoes are quality, a person could simply drop the putrid footwear into a sink of warm soapy water, snap on a pair of rubber gloves, and scrub the shoes clean.