I am selfish.
I never do community service, even though I often tell myself I want to and should.
I only occasionally give a few dollars to a charity, maybe if a friend is involved with the organization.
I truly bought my TOMS shoes because it was stylish. I let myself justify my purchase $50 purchase because it also helped a child in need. If I wanted to give shoes to a child in need in a developing nation, I could have done it through a monetary donation to the American Red Cross.
I know plenty of companies use unethical practices, particularly using child labor or unfair wages in developing nations. I could simply research these companies and not buy from them, but I don’t.
I know mass-production food companies stuff chickens with tons of hormones, enlarge their breasts so much that their legs break, and keep them in cages the size of their body so they can’t move. Yet I still buy the cheapest chicken at the grocery store, instead of free range or organic.
I don’t care enough to put in the money, time, or effort. I could use the excuse of being a poor and busy college kid, but the truth is that I am selfish.
I struggle with this insecurity because I know I can and should help others. I am part of the American middle class that is born into a society and life that I am given so much. I am grateful for all that I have, when I know plenty of others are not so fortunate. I feel insecure about admitting this, because I know it is controllable. I could choose to spend my money and time to help those in need. I could make time to volunteer and research unethical companies if I really wanted to. But it’s so much easier to ignore it, especially when I don’t face or see these issues personally. Maybe this doesn’t really make me a bad person, because there are plenty of other people who don’t care enough either. But at the same time, maybe that’s an excuse. Maybe the awareness I have and choice to not care more about these issues does mean something. What does that say about me?