Because our culture has become highly obsessed with the superficial, there are many who are willing to compromise their values to keep up appearances.
An easy example: Here in Utah, we are faced with an extreme draught. Yet, many of us are not willing to let our lawns die because we are afraid of how the house will appear. (This isn’t to water shame. I’ve posted my thoughts about how to address the water crisis in Utah.)
We don’t give a parking spots closer to the door for the CEO because there is a medical reason. We do it to show status. The fact is that a CEO’s pay has increased 940% since 1978 and many are struggling to get by. Everyone has a problem with wealth inequality until you are the one benefiting from it.
A Gucci bag isn’t more durable than a bag from REI. We buy it because people like us do stuff like this. Regardless what’s less of an impact on the planet.
Speaking of the environment, many of us care about the planet but still eat meat. Agriculture continues to be the leading cause of carbon emissions.
We are all hypocrites. That doesn’t mean we still shouldn’t try to change our behavior. But if we are telling ourselves a story of status and use it as a measure to fulfill us, I’m afraid this conversation will fall on deaf ears. Change feels impossible until it arrives on our doorstep.