Were we to grow less distracted by our consumerism and consumption, and to spend more time with friends and family, or work with people we want to help, or learn something we have always wanted to be able to do, wouldn’t that make up for missing yet another sale at the mall? The pursuit of national wealth through trade of increasingly useless things has for a few decades kept us in more clothes than we need, but has nothing to do with the pursuit of happiness. And it simply no longer works.
Yvon Chouinard and Vincent Stanley, The Responsible Company
Obsession with a consumerist lifestyle, above all when few people are capable of maintaining it, can only lead to violence and mutual destruction. Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us.
Pope Francis, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home
We could–you and I–bring the whole fantastic economy of profitable waste down to the ground overnight, without legislation and without revolution, merely by refusing to cooperate with it.
From Dorothy Sayers’s essay, “Why Work?”