Friday, December 9, 2011

Little Bee and Me

If any of you have read the book, “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave, you’d know that experiencing certain situations can drastically change the way a person perceives their reality.

The book is about a little girl who after watching her Nigerian village be destroyed and all of her family raped and slaughtered after an oil company had discovered that underneath her land, lay abundant, untapped natural fossil fuels; she alone survived and was sent to a refugee camp somewhere in England that she eventually escaped. 

The Nigerians that had been paid to “get rid” of her family had done so in such an unimaginable way, that whenever this girl found herself in a new environment, in any new type of surroundings, the very FIRST thing she did was find a suitable and effective way to...kill herself. Why? Because she knew that if anyone ever found out who she was, she would be sent back to Nigeria, and her fate there was, in her mind, so horrible, that she would rather die quickly and by her own hand than go back.

Why am I sharing the details of this book? Well, if I try to set my political and VERY “Green Energy” (Oil Hating) beliefs aside, it’s because I’ve noticed a similar change in myself after years of experiencing life with Chronic Lyme. It has given me a new set of eyes, changed my thoughts about the world, and above all, what I care about in it.

I started noticing this about two years back, when after being completely bogged down by medical expenses and seeing no reprieve from it in sight, I began to look at my surroundings and whatever new environment I entered into and start to really “look” at material things, comparing what each item costs to what kind of medical treatment or item needed I would have been able to afford had I NOT bought whatever the “thing” was I was looking at. I also started to do this with other people as well... 

Lol - you know when a person gives you the “once over” look (hate those people!!) to kind of weigh and measure you as to how fashionable you are, or well kept - basically it’s a VERY shallow way to determine how “worthy” of their time (at least in their mind’s) you are.

I began to notice myself doing the very same thing, but in the complete opposite manner. I would mathematically calculate the cost of what they were wearing, their accessories, shoes, and makeup were, and found that the higher the number was, the more sick to my stomach I felt. I felt like shaking them, like they needed waking or something, and I couldn't seem to stop these three despairing questions from running through my head;

  1. Why are you buying such useless shit, that will probably end up being in a landfill three years from now, completely forgotten by you, and adding to the very severe non-degradable waste issue we are experiencing right now! 
  2. Do you know that your outfit could’ve given me five months worth of treatment, that I honestly have no idea how I'm going to be able to pay for? Why aren’t you using the money you’ve earned to save for anything and everything you can’t conceive of at the moment? Please...don’t do what I did - build a safety net for yourself! Just in case... 
  3. I apologize, but this has to be said...Do you know that what you are wearing was probably put together by a child, who works in a sweat shop, lives in a third world country, and gets paid pennies by the hour...Ummm - I’m sorry, how much did you say you paid for that “designer” outfit you’re wearing? 

Did you also know that what you are really paying for is the advertising costs it took for that company to put your product on some photo-shopped, impossibly flawless model up on a billboard, to try and make you think that having that product is what “Happiness” is all about?? Does knowing this change AT ALL how you feel about what you just purchased? If not - I honestly don't want to know you (Lol - and I BET, by now, you probably don't want to know me : )

Bottom Line: I REALLY don’t care about material things anymore. (Hmmm - there was probably a MUCH nicer way to say that...uhh -sorry?)

The thing that surprises me the most is that people already KNOW this - it’s become the norm. Our generation was brought up on “Brands,” have completely disconnected with nature, and therefore, cannot even emotionally react and even connect to its’ alarmingly destructive changes or imagine what that really MEANS. 

Don't Believe me? Try this: In one minute write down as many name brand products you know AND the names/species of the trees/plants and animals that are found in your local area.  Lol - see what I mean?!

Mark Twain really DID get it when he said,
“Civilization is nothing more than an endless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

Even though the above mentioned is true, it IS the "Holiday Season," so if you care enough and understand that there is something you can do about this, please try avoid buying products from the following companies that are notorious for their child-labor sweatshops. Also, there ARE some really awesome companies out there that refuse this type of child slavery and believe in "Fair Labor or Trade". This list is a little harder to find, but I know that Patagonia is among them, and that both Nike and H+M have both (forcefully) been cleaning up their acts and are now members of 

Also, independent artists such as those who make products to sell on make awesome and unique gifts as well. Some of these artists even donate portions of their proceeds to charities, including Lyme organizations! (which makes me VERY happy : ) So, for this christmas, why not give them a shot?? Happy Shopping!

List found at:

Many blessings,

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