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"Pace is all. Rhythm is master. Consistency is your friend."

Sunday, July 9, 2006

CONSUMERS FIRST, HUMAN BEINGS SECOND

The following comes from a WONDERFUL book I am reading entitled, "A Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature," by David Suzuki. It's amazing (and I'm only 30 pages in!) In it, Suzuki references a list from "All Consuming Passion: Waking Up from the American Dream," a pamphlet put out by the New Road Map Foundation (Seattle). If I were presented with just two or three of these juicy little facts it would be thought provoking. Put them all together and I'm overwhelmed.

Let me know what you think:

Consumer World

  • People today are on average 4 1/2 times richer than their great-grandparents were in 1900.
  • American parents spend 40% less time with their children than they did in 1965.
  • At the very time that family sizes have dropped precipitously in North America, the average house size has almost doubled from 1,100 in 1949 to 2,060 square feet in 1993.
  • 93% of teenage American girls report store-hopping as their favorite activity.
  • In 1987, the number of shopping centres surpassed the number of high schools in the United States.
  • Americans spend and average of 6 hours a week shopping and 40 minutes a week playing with their children.
  • We can choose from 25,000 supermarket items, 200 kinds of cereal and more than 11,000 magazines.
  • Since 1940 Americans alone have used up as large a share of the Earth's mineral resources as all previous generations put together.
  • In the last 200 years, the United States has lost 50% of its wetlands, 90% of its northwestern old-growth forests and 99% of its tallgrass prairies.

Is this what we call progress? If this is where we've been and where we are now, where are we headed? We're not living in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but the land of environmental destruction and the home of the consumer.

Makes you proud to be an American, doesn't it?

2 Comments:

At 7/09/2006 08:59:00 PM, Blogger cherylann said...

Those facts make me disgusted to be an American. We are so consumed with materialistic things that we forget important things like education and playing with our children. Society wants to acquire THINGS when the greatest gifts that they are given (their children) are ignored. Nilda will now put together and email me a list of books that I should read.
dammit!

 
At 7/10/2006 09:49:00 PM, Anonymous Loushe said...

Sad, isn't it? The scary thing is, is that is a very small list that speaks volumes. It is a real danger when people get too removed from 'reality'. People are too distracted with their things to appreciate what is real and also, I should add free (the real free, not coupon, rebate, buy one, get one free).

It really makes me sad that more people don't value the real beauty Earth offers us. It is time to get unbusy and take a moment or two to relax and enjoy Nature's gifts. Instead, of shopping, walk through some woods--it cleanses the soul and that is worth more than any over-packaged cheap plastic toy, gadget, whatever.

The book is amazing. I too, am reading it and loving it.

Nice, work throwing that list on here, Nancy (I thought you would).

 

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