Historically speaking, my ongoing and ancestral relationship with consumerism is complicated. As a descendant of the survivors of the American human trafficking system known as slavery, who were also systemically excluded from participating fully in the economy to drive down the value of and return on our labor, I like to live like my wins are for all of us. That’s a long way of saying, I like being able to get what I want and do what I want when I want it. I feel like the ancestors love this for me. Although it is purposeful, I cannot always say it has been conscious.
Learning more about minimalism and incorporating it into my life has proven to be a game of double dutch. One turner is focused on the “rewards” I’ve earned and the perceived joy they bring. The other turner is working to make sure I ask myself The AfroMinimalist’s three questions: Do I need it? Do I use it? Do I love it? Looking at the ropes slapping the ground in perfect rhythm from the outside brings up a feeling I’ll call, “Wow, you have a lot of clothes in your closet with the tags still on” or guilt that I, in my getting, have gotten too much. So, as I dare to jump in and play like I mean it, I offer us all these words of kindness.
This is a new game. We are playing for a different kind of win. We can try something different and learn something new. Author Christine Platt also recommends that instead of getting more or struggling with the ghosts of purchases past, we pay it forward and be the best minimalist we can be moving forward. We can gather the things that are no longer needed, used, or loved and release them to the people who will interact with them at a higher level of Intention. We can transform our homes into dens of sovereignty and our lives into the embodiment of effortless efficiency and tranquility. Who doesn’t like that?
Ethical consumption feels good. You cannot tell me a thing when I’m in my sustainability bag. I feel like the ancestors love this for us.