Tuesday, 25 November 2008

the question is to shop or not to shop

Politicians and central bankers in the UK and across the world are battling to get us to spend more money on non-essential items so that the lack of demand does not send the global economy into freefall.

But even in the current hard times there are still dissenting voices who say our love of stuff we often don't really need and can't afford is what got us into this mess in the first place. Shopping became our god and must be toppled, they say.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of people who will stick up for shopping - as something to cheer us up when we are down, as a social activity, as an assertion of freedom and as the "vice" that could save us.

I don't think we need to stop shopping altogether in order to cure our consuming culture, but we do need to shop differently. We must stop purchasing things because we are bored, lonely, stressed or simply going through the motions of obligation and routine. We must support small, local shopkeepers, artisans and farmers. We must buy things that will serve a distinct purpose in our lives for years, not just keep us entertained for a season.

We must not be afraid to our spend our money. Money is a tremendous force and even a little bit has power to create positive change. Every time you shop, ask yourself, "Does this purchase support or negate the type of change I want to see in the world? Is this purchase life-affirming or soul-draining." Then take a deep breath, centre yourself and listen. I think you will know your answer ~ bbc.co.uk

just for those in london, print off this voucher and show it at the till, every time you make a purchase, from Monday 24 - Sunday 30 November 2008, and you will receive 20% off your Christmas shopping at Selfridges, including the exclusive Anya Hindmarch-designed Christmas Hampers. They are also offering 10% off Selfridges' unequalled range of fragrance and beauty products.

to shop is human, the feeling divine.

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