Taking Out the Trash

Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
— Chinua Achebe

One of my least favorite household chores is taking out the trash.

I usually put it off way longer than I should and eventually force myself to lug my garbage down to my apartment complex dumpster, grumbling the whole way. To minimize this distasteful exercise (and reduce my carbon footprint), I strive to reduce the volume of things sent to the landfill, polluting our beloved planet. I am hyper-conscious of my need to separate my refuse into what is actually garbage and what can be reused by way of composting, recycling or upcycling.

In this practice, I’ve discovered that the size of my garbage pile is directly related to what and how much I purchase or consume. The lesson? If I make conscious decisions about my consumption, my refuse will be greatly impacted.

All this makes me wonder: what if we apply this same consciousness to our inner landscape as we strive to do in our outer world?

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How do we consume information and recycle it without doing harm and creating psychic garbage that pollutes our personal, social and political landscapes?

Why are we reading what we read, watching what we watch and sharing what we share via conversation and/or social media?

We all consume media of various forms for various reasons, but the amount of information that we have access to on a daily basis is overwhelming. It is almost tantamount to having access to an all-you-can-eat buffet available to you all day, everyday no matter where you are. Imagine the excess, the choices, the impulse to over-indulge just because its there. Now apply this to your consumption of news, social media, etc.

How do we deal with the excess, the choices and the ever-present invitation to over-indulge when it is right at the end of our fingertips?

How is what we consume part of anti-racism and social justice work?

For more thoughts & resources, stay tuned for the upcoming Anchor Magazine, Issue 11!