The Ethics of Affluence/Existential Crisis

I live a good life.As much as I sometimes struggle to pay my mortgage, I sometimes work more than I'd like to and can't take as many holidays as some, I generally have everything I could want or need. I also am fortunate enough to have a great deal of choice as to how I live my life. I spend my working (and playing) life on pursuits I enjoy.

I also read a lot.

And as a rule I don't read a lot of fluffy, happy, easy stuff. Much of what I read makes me really, really sad and embarrassed to be someone who contributes to the great imbalance of global economic and social conditions. I know that the way I live my life contributes to the continuing deterioration of our natural environment, the social injustices carried out all over the world.

I spend a lot of time with people who are aware of and concerned about how the current state of global business and industry looks. I purposely surround myself with people who are motivated to make a positive social impact, to change the world for the better.

Those of you who know me, know that I am passionate about bringing awareness to the industry and the public about the real effects of a multi-billion dollar global trade like the fashion industry. I want people to be aware of what situations they are enabling when they buy fast fashion goods, and of what they can do to support a different kind of system.

I am frequently overwhelmed by it all though.

I know I'm not the only one who feels like the system is broken. But do we really have no choice but to continue to operate within the system we hate? What is the alternative? Falling off the grid and joining a commune?

I often wonder how I manage to go about my daily business while I'm aware of the fact that children are used to produce the chocolate I sometimes eat while I'm watching TV or the fact that the t-shirt I wear will likely end up adding to the massive problem of textile waste in this country? Is it just a matter of suspending this awareness for a period while I eat my chocolate? The further removed I am from the direct consequences of my choices the easier it is for me to ignore the reality.

Is there something wrong with me that I'm not satisfied with ignoring the reality? That I cannot see myself continuing to exist here in Australia in my ivory tower, drinking lattes, playing with my iphone and accumulating things I'll never use?

Where to from here?