Learning to choose


Out and about / Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Confession: I used to shop at Wal-Mart.

When I was a teenager I actually liked it. Last year in the worst of my struggle with depression, I had lots of shopping-related lows, and Wal-Mart seemed worst of all to me… a forced immersion into pop values, consumerism, and futility.

Of course I had heard rumblings of a group of people who hate Wal-Mart. I thought they must be a strange breed. What’s not to like about low prices and a store that sells everything under one roof?

About a month ago I started doing some research on criticism of Wal-Mart, starting with Wikipedia, where I found a link to a documentary: Wal-Mart: the high cost of low price.

I watched it.

I took it with all the grains of salt I had on hand. I won’t tell you at which point I started to cry, or what I felt by the end, only that I haven’t been back inside the store since.

I am not of the opinion that the whole world needs to make the same choices I do. I do not have a campaign. I will not ask you if you still shop there, or scorn the Great Value foods you serve me. But may I very kindly say that if you regularly shop at Wal-Mart you ought to do some research? It’s not hard. The movie I’m recommending is available on Netflix, if you have a membership, or for free here.

Ryan says you vote with your money. Here’s a girl who’s voting for something other than living by oppression of the poor.

How? More in my next post…

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10 years ago

This post is refreshing. I’ve been thinking/reading/praying a lot about, yes, Wal-Mart recently. It sounds like you have been too.

What I find the most refreshing about your take on it is that you’re not doing your boycott out of guilt or pride, two things often motivating me when I go counter-culture. God spoke; you listened. I want to do the same.

loila
10 years ago

I had missed this post before the Next Post…took me three sittings to get through the youtube video…very heart wrenching…disturbing…how can they go to sleep at night, knowing about their employees in China? And their employees in the USA? And we wonder why our nation is so broke? And people’s hearts are so broken? And their desire for life is so helpless? It does make a person cry! Thanks for sharing this Shari!

Gideon
10 years ago

I agree 100% that we vote with our money and we just have to start being more aware of the process behind the products that we can buy so easily and so cheap. We have to. Posts like this can help bring us back to what we lost when we went gung ho over consumerism. What did we lose? The ability to produce our own clothes and food, the privilege of supporting our neighbor, etc. Teach your daughters how to sew, Shari, if you have any and don’t apologize for it. To the natural way of life. Gideon