Slow Consumption

Stephen Edward
Feb 3, 2017 · 5 min read

When considering the multitude of positions held in regards to human integrity, one may find it necessary to analyze our relation to those sovereign principles which sustain us. Slow consumption is a blatant sentiment, a proposal. Recognizing that the rate in which consumption takes place is offering little sustaining and satiating qualities. In the typically noted sense of economic consumption and in the devouring of media and interpersonal dogmas. This leaves an impoverished social structure and an unbalanced equilibrium of value and place. It is also just a pairing of words to give form to an ethos or an ontological perspective.

The expedient production industry is fueled by a throbbing and largely unconscious consumerist lifestyle most of the western culture exudes. It is a perpetuating cycle that has come from what was once, and to some still is, viewed as progress that irrefutably offers a more accessible quality of life that could only be considered innovative and necessary. However, this quality of life is what is in question and this perspective is what Slow Consumption fronts. It stands as a resonant symbol for the slowing down of consumptive behavior via a deeper appreciation and respect for the goods, processes, people and environments we are a part of. To enter a deeper relationship with ourselves and to invest in our integrity lends to a more intentional consumption culture and yields a rewarded and prosperous whole.

There are a few ways in which this can be achieved, as to bring it down from an idealistic pedestal. First of which, there will more than likely not be a massive turn-over of ethos/paradigm or an abrupt shift in the perspectives of the masses. Rather, as per most historic and cultural movements, it begins with a few. A few individuals whom advocate for a positive transition and become active in their lives to assist in the transition. Most always and irrevocably so, they find that their initiative and interests are not left cold. There is a strong consensus of individuals who recognize the movement and offer their support. At this point, momentum is gained, resources are pooled and action in inevitable. Given the nature of most social or cultural instigations, there is a general sense of respect and mutual intention due to the association of community, solidarity and an integrity shared by those behind it.

Setting aside the idealism of a mass transition, and it being well noted that there is much merit in small collectives pushing forward to change a social landscape, what’s next? For starters, holding inspiration in high regard is paramount. There can be little momentum if the original fire of an idea is left to sit and smolder. This can be difficult to maintain for many but we should be tenacious in our intent. Curate your environment, from within and without. Keep dialogue open with yourself, your peers and the community at large. Regardless of the direction of the conversation, you have the capacity to stay humbled in your own learning and inspirations. We should not be attached so much to a desire that we are shook when someone poses an opposing opinion. Stay humble, stay inspired, learn and curate what facilitates the positive personal growth.

Inspiration lends itself to the substance of a cultivated movement as well as the interpersonal qualities of its counterparts. Some qualities that offer unparalleled productivity and development both personally and interpersonally are those of stoicism and self-reliance. These are in large part allocated to the individual, but when applied collectively, the implications are legion. To have the stability to engage in conversation, collaboration and general interaction with others in the social sphere is an interminable quality. There is much resistance, both within us and without us, to the need of finding a fundamental means of processing so as to move forward. One that is most immediate, pure and fruitful is the ability to recognize an internal conflict or personal strife as just that, internal and personal. Given that we have the capacity to curate and facilitate our environments, the same applies to our internal dramas. There is much growth that comes from the ability to navigate our own inner terrain. To give credence, time and determination to stepping through ourselves and come out on the other side offers a wisdom only obtained through doing so. Not to say that all internal issues can, let alone should, be dealt with personally or individually. This is where the community comes in to assist in the furthering of your potential and integrity. Also, not to say that they should be used as a crutch for our emotional turbulence. We have power sitting idle within us waiting for its discovery and to be witnessed in action. The capacity to move through the lulls and high points is the definition of self-reliance. This is not to be misunderstood as a ‘go it alone’ ideal, rather, if we have the ability to deeply rely on ourselves and trust that others have the same capacity, the potential for growth is imminent. A growing number of strong, intelligent and passionate people who have an unquestioned respect for those around them. This is deep, effective and accessible to those who recognize it.

All being said, there is massive human potential which has been explored, though perhaps in ways we are now calling into question and truly seeing its unconscious implications. We have the ability and the luxury to wax philosophical in regards to topics such as this, and for that, we should be grateful. However, that does not mean we owe our entire existence to what those have done before us and where we are currently. Through due respect, we can respectfully disagree where needed and begin a transition. Call it evolution, call it growth, call it inevitable. We are granted an opportunity to be alive, embrace what sustains that life and explore our potential alongside it and as a part of it. That alone is inspiring enough to continue our push for potential but with a new subset of principles.

Stephen Edward

Stephen Edward

Written by

Itinerant. Somewhere on the planet.

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