Friday, 23 November 2007

Buy nothing for peace

Tomorrow is Buy Nothing day, a global witness against consumerism. They say of themselves:

"As consumers we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them. What are the true risks to the environment and developing countries? The argument is infinite - while it continues we should be looking for simple solutions - Buy Nothing Day is a good place to start. "

This in its turn echoes the words written in 1793 by John Woolman, the early Quaker activist, mystic and visionary. Here's a good chunk of what he wrote, making very clear the connection he felt between unnescessary posessions, right living and war. Challenging stuff:

From A Plea for the Poor

"Wealth is attended with power, by which bargains and proceedings, contrary to universal righteousness, are supported; and hence oppression, carried on with worldly policy and order, clothes itself with the name of justice and becomes like a seed of discord in the soul. And as this spirit which wanders from the pure habitation prevails, so the seeds of war swell and sprout, and grow, and become strong, until much fruit is ripened. Then cometh the harvest spoken of by the prophet, which "is a heap, in the day of grief and desperate sorrows."(2)"

"Oh! that we who declare against wars, and acknowledge our trust to be in God only, may walk in the light, and therein examine our foundation and motives in holding great estates! May we look upon our treasures, and the furniture of our houses, and the garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions, or not. Holding treasures in the self-pleasing spirit is a strong plant, the fruit whereof ripens fast."

Having said all that, we're a bit out of.... at home and tomorrow might be a good day to go shopping!!