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Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I am reading "Affluenza" right now. I was already prepared to agree with this book before ever starting. We have so much, too much. We should use our money well. Buy local. A life build around materialism and getting more stuff and the most toys isn't going to be terribly fullfilling. Taking care of the environment is important, so is using resources wisely. Getting into mountains of debt by buying more and more things isn't smart. Neither a family nor a church based on consumerism and bigger/better/newer will have a lot of depth or real joy.
Anyways, I was cringing and wincing numerous times on every page - and nodding and agreeing. Much to digest. I was very happy though that we got on with Peaceful Belly (local organic farm) this year, so I at least had the "support local sustainable agriculture" bit down. ;-)
Some of the things mentioned in the book we are already doing. Others we are not.

Minor quibble - at the point where the authors talk about how wedding rings are the product of 6 tons of sludge polluting a creek somewhere, I started to get a bit annoyed - there is a fine line between relentless persuasiveness and harping. I think there is a danger in thumping people over and over. At that point it doesn't matter how right you are - people are simply not going to listen if you ladle the guilt on too thickly.

One thing I want to mention - they quote Richard Swenson quite a bit, author of a book I really like, "Margin". That was the book that really first got me thinking about a lot of the themes touched on in "Affluenza". Overall so far, a book well worth reading, and I'll let you know how the rest shapes up.

posted by Birgit
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