Confessions of a consumer

Guest post by Kay Bilsby, author of Soul Dreamer

I love eating and shopping, they are two of my favourite things. I like nothing better than enjoying a well cooked meal in a good restaurant − or searching for that perfect pair of shoes to go with outfit currently residing in the bag I am carrying. To me these are the simple pleasures that my lifestyle allows.

Do I spare a though for the poor and hungry of the world while I am sating my need to consume? Of course not! The world of abject poverty and extreme hunger, is a world outside the one I live in – a world, if I’m being honest I know nothing about.

That said, I’m no more immune than the next person, to the suffering of others as depicted in the media. Show me images of dying children, overlaid by a sad song, and in that moment I care. Then the image is gone replaced by a favourite TV program, taking with it the unpalatable truth that somehow I have contributed to their plight and I do nothing.

Am I a product of the society I live in, giving only when caught up in the moment? Telethons and events that capture the attention of people like me, give us an outlet a way to congratulating ourselves that we have done our bit. Don’t get me wrong telethons work. They do an amazing job of highlighting the plight of those in need and then doing something about it. Win, win right? But when they are over, and the moment is passed, we leave that other world behind.

I understand the need for charitable organisations, each and every one of them plays a vital role. My day job is working for a large charity that exists to fight the biggest killer of people like me − Heart disease. Every day I meet people who have survived heart disease, or lost loved ones to it. It’s real tangible, something that they understand, because it’s happening to them. My point is, the choice is always subjective we support the things that mean something to us, and the closer to home the more likely we are to give.

It occurs to me, writing this confession that there is a bigger picture here. We aren’t living on a fantasy world where everything is in perfect balance and no one is denied the basic necessities of life. We are living on a small but beautiful planet, on loan to this generation to look after for the next.

Perhaps, consumers like me, who don’t have to worry where our next meal is coming from, whose lifestyle contributes to the suffering of others, should be afraid. Ultimately we are all linked, as we deplete our resources, the things that are happening in that other world, will eventually affect us all. When it does, who will we turn to for help? I have no answers, perhaps it doesn’t matter why or how we choose to help, so long as we do.

Writing this has probably done me more harm than good, but it has made me examine my own shortcomings. It is the confession of someone who has been hungry, but never known hunger. Been short of cash, but never known real poverty. Who is searching her soul to find out where she should go from here.


Books by Kay Bilsby

Soul Dreamer ~ View on Bookshelves | Amazon link unavailable.

Soul Bound ~ View on Bookshelves | View on Amazon

Published by Guest Blogger

Guest bloggers are special posts written by various different people. If you are interesting in posting a guest blog post on the site or in becoming a regular poster, please get in touch with the site admin Scott. You can do this via Twitter: @scottmhughes

Join the Conversation


  1. Kay, I applaud you for your soul searching which you displayed for all to read. This is a hard topic to discuss, let alone to write an article about. There is a balance in life, even stuck in this idiotic paradigm of buy and sell, that one can find. Just seeing you facing this issue like this can assure us all of the goodness trying to burst forth from within each one of us. No matter how it is covered by the thorns of life’s harsh past moments of painful experiences, it can not be extinguished because it is an intrinsic part of what we all are. Thanks for sharing your article. You touched a part of me that holds hope for all……

  2. Thank you for your comment Guy, I’m glad my words struck a cord with you. You are right, there is hope for all of us if we just pause for a moment, take our blinkers off and look at the world around us.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *