Posts Tagged ‘Consumerism’

Image courtesty of: http://blogs.bgsu.edu/hkrista/

Everyone has their Ramadan goals, yes?

I have been developing mine for the past weeks. The ones I came up with are:

  1. Read the whole Qur’an: I know this is one most people attempt/do and some might think it’s kind of a given but I really want to do it. I want to read a whole translation of the Qur’an so I can really get to the basics of my faith.
  2. Make all prayers: Easier said than done with some of them (aka Fajr) but InshAllah.
  3. Completely learn all of Salaat: Confession: I don’t know the part you do when you’re sitting down aka the Tashahhud. It’s difficult to learn something in a completely different language but I’ll admit, I should have learned it by now. So when I get to the Masjid on Eid, I’ll be able to recite everything correctly, InshAllah.

So that is what I had planned. However, today I came across this article on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed: no clothes til december. Summary: No buying new clothes until december, wear what you’ve got. I got to thinking, how often I decide I need something and then hate it and leave it in my closet something like that. I still have that horrible pair of jeans that 1) did not fit correctly (I bought them in a hurry) 2) I made a sad attempt at making them fit and now 3) they are completely ruined and sit in my closet as a reminder of $30 wasted. Not fun.

So, I thought, what if I do something like this? I decided to try. At least for Ramadan, which will be hard because Ramadan this year falls during the back to school shopping flurry. One thing I will need to buy though before August 1st is a new skirt. I need something to wear for Eid prayer (you need to look nice) and I think I have my Eid outfit almost figured out, I just need the maxi skirt (don’t act like you haven’t started planning your Eid outfit already. You know you have lol). So that will be my last piece. I desperately wanted a pair of skinny jeans before school starts too (I recently put my favorite pair to rest 😦 ) So that might get put on the exemption list too but besides that (and underwear. As Sarah pointed out underwear is a must), I will not buy nothing, nada, zip. For me: also on my no buying list will go jewelry, scarves and shoes. I have more than enough, even though one can definitely argue that you can never have enough.

Also, after thinking it through, I decided Ramadan will be the end of me buying those $2 coffees at McDonalds, Coffee Bean, Peet’s, Starbucks, etc. No more wasting my cash on my beloved coffees that come in the pretty little paper/plastic cups. If I don’t have a gift card or something of the sort, I will be stuck making it at home. Both Ramadan and Sarah’s post have made me think about reining in that consumerism I had previously talked about. It needs to be done. And that’s that. (Thank you Sarah for the idea!)


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I recently watched No Impact Man (it’s on Neflix for those who want to take a peek). And of course, there I sat, clutching my daily caffeine fix. This day it happened to be the most common one: McDonald’s Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee. My friends never fail to tell me how horrible my coffee love is but I’m here to say:  I know it’s not the greatest thing in the world but 1) there are much worse addictions and 2) I like it; so leave me alone lol

But watching the wife, Michelle, struggle with her need for coffee, especially the kind that is given to you in the nifty little paper/plastic cups, I felt like I was looking in the mirror. When I haven’t had my daily (at least!) cup, I notice myself getting very irritated and snappish with the first poor soul who happens cross my path, my head begins to throb, and I feel anxious and awkward.

I’m not sure why I get so much joy from buying coffee but I think a key to this answer lies in a conversation I recently had with some friends. Two of my friends (who happen to not be from the US) were utterly confused by the fact that I would rather sprint out of my house in the freezing cold to spend my campus currency on a large iced coffee from the campus coffee shop as opposed to just making coffee at home. My other friend who is American said, “No you guys don’t understand. It’s an American thing. We like it when it’s made for us and when we just pay someone to do it rather than do it ourselves. We just really like buying stuff in this country.”

My other friends gave us a look and I, as I laughed and nodded in agreement, sprinted out the door to catch the coffee shop before it closed. But this in a combination with the movie, really made me realize: I’m a product of American consumerism. I’m a prime example. So lately, I’ve been struggling to prevent myself from driving off to Chipotle to get a burrito when I’m hungry and looking through my fridge, and I’m proud to say I’ve been pretty successful. The coffee unfortunately is another story at the moment. I still buy my daily coffee and it’s a really hard habit to kick…InshAllah.

Moral of  my story: As Ramadan approaches, I need to think of the things I need to whittle down on. I really need to watch my caffiene intake. Today I have already had an iced coffee and Coke Zero (currently working on my second can of the day). I’m not saying give up my coffee love at all but the extra sodas and additional iced coffee I sneak in there sometimes….I can definitely do without. An upside to fasting (of course aside from all the amazing spiritual benefits AH) is that you really get to see how much you intake that is not necessary at all. Yes, I am anticipating the monsterous withdrawal heachaches from my caffeine reduction (ughhhh) but Ramadan will make me want to concentrate more on God and my faith rather than if I had my daily cup InshAllah 🙂

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