Some might think I’m complaining about people and that I think they’re hopeless. Well, that’s not true. I believe in Change, as Obama’s campaign was about. I wish that people will open their eyes and see the whole picture. I want people to open their mind and burst their bubble of comfort.  The other day I was with a friend of mine, she saw a shopping window and burst out  “Oh, that dress was pretty!”  “Has H&M started with recycled clothes? well, that’s nice” They didn’t have the dress she wanted, so she wanted to look in the store some more. She said she really wanted a new dress for tomorrow, and I asked her if there was something special happening then. Nope, she was just going out on a normal weekend and wanted a new dress. I can’t say she has to few of them. In Bergen I also see a lot of students shopping like their wallets have no bottom or their bank accounts no limit. People consume, that’s what we’re brought up to do. When the financial crisis happened they wanted us to consume more to make the economy flow again, and so we did.  It’s nice that H&M think about the environment, but do they think about the workers? “Made in China” doesn’t mean, “made by happy workers in China”. I recently watched a documentary about the tailoring industry and the decline of work in the US. The CEO of a major clothing company in the US said that they couldn’t control what happens in the factories in India. The conditions are almost worse than in the US in the 1920s. We’re happy as long as this doesn’t happen in the West. If it happens elsewhere its not our problem, because its not our part of the world. But it wouldn’t cost that much to send someone to inspect and make sure that the workers work under just conditions. The Western corporations don’t take responsibility. They make money off of poor peoples misery and almost hopeless life situations.  These hardworking women, children and men give us all the pretty things we desire, to feel happy and content in these materialistic countries we live in. We exceed out credit card limits to be able to buy things! I’m scared that these Western values infect the minds of those who appreciate life for what it is. I’ve seen how it spreads in Latin America because they look up to the West. And I’ve met people who’ve tried to escape the consumption that has consumed them. There are not enough things in this world to make you happy! Think about it next time you just have to buy something that’s “IN”, and stop yourself from asking your parents pretty please, “can I have this?” Don’t become a spoiled youth! Or at least respect the workers who made this for you.

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3 thoughts on “Spoiled Youth

  1. Well, some might say that it is better to be a slave and work for 1 portion of rice per day than instead being free and have 0 portions of rice per day. It is not really possible to compare working conditions in Asian countries with Western standards, because let’s face it, the comfortable standards of western work life is due to wealth. If you go back in time in Norway, when it was a poor country, you will probably find that working conditions were pretty similar of what you find in e.g. Chinese factories today. I am much more inclined to support reduction in consumption on environmental arguments such as scarce natural resources than because of work conditions in developing countries. Just some views from an economist living in Peru.:)

  2. I know you can’t compare, but personally I feel we, the West, are holding them down. We don’t want developing countries to prosper. Lets face it; the US is scared because China is the leading economy in the world. I’m an idealist; I want good working conditions, human rights, for all and I want us to consume less. I don’t have the answers, but maybe we should learn from the ways of Permaculture.
    And I’m very happy that you commented on what I wrote 🙂

  3. Blimey! i suppose many of us are so used to confusing needs and wants…myself included. i guess those who are better off are perhaps less detached from the money spent on things that would be classed as frivilous to others…a lack of understanding of the meaning of money, the energy in producing something that´s wheeled off for mass consumption and sadly detachment from the story behind each item aquired. Of course it can be difficult to do this, a complicated effort even, but feel the key is awareness.
    I hope to continue to strive to look beyond face value of produce i purchase such as food items, where i choose to bank and place money, how i can reduce my carbon footprint, live more sustainably…starting from the small things…watching the amount of food i buy and trying not to create waste, turning off lights i don´t need, TRYING to grow vegetables (so far unsuccessfully) etc. It´s a work in progress!! thank you for raising!

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