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To Give or Not to Give: Consciousness in Giving
The holiday season has officially landed. The spirit of giving is a big part of our holiday tradition. We are blessed to live in the most economically prosperous and resource abundant continent in the world. Having been given so much already, it’s hard to believe we could possibly need more. But we do. We need upgraded computers, newer cars, more advanced toys for our kids and let’s not forget clothes, because we must have the latest fashions.
As we all know, this time of the year is fraught with mass commercialism and consumerism. I might add, I’m proud to say that LUSH doesn’t advertise anywhere outside of our storefronts, nor do we participate in the biggest retail events of the year, Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We believe in candlelit baths, but we also believe in the safety of our employees.
Since we have all have had our fair share of the guilt-ridden consumerism talk, courtesy of the media, I’m not going to harp about over-consumption. We already know that in modern western society, we are over-consumers. Yes, some of us are of the “bloodthirsty for deals” mindset, taking down retailers’ front doors and attacking the guy who picked up the last Beanie-Baby… you know who you are. Some of us are of a holistic mindset, known as “conscious consumers”, and would rather make gifts or buy handmade presents for loved ones from local artists or fair trade organizations. I’m of the latter variety… Getting trampled for a 40% off plastic toy poodle just ain’t my style. But, what this all amounts to is that all of us, with as little or as much as we purchase, are ALL consumers at some level.
Instead of preaching about why consumerism is bad and how it puts more money in the pockets of the “1%”, how it depletes the earth’s resources and how it changes societal behavior…. What I want to advocate this holiday season is one simple thing: consciousness.
I mean true consciousness. Of course, donating your time, your energy and your money to local organizations, as they are always in need of resources, is a wonderful thing to do. But acting consciously incorporates so much more than donations and conscious consumerism.
- Draw a warm bath for a special person in your life.
- Smile, just because it feels good.
- Cook a meal for someone.
- Show love, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Give with your heart.
- Forgive those who have hurt you.
- Hold someone who is hurting.
- Laugh with a friend.
- Stop the car when you see an animal in need of help.
- Stop and give food to someone who is hungry.
- Tell someone that they matter to you.
- Laugh with a stranger.
- Say 'thank you' and truly be thankful.
- Share your wealth with those less fortunate.
And… party like it’s 1999 (or like it's 12/12/2012).