All Barbie’s Wisdom

I got reusable shopping bags that have Barbie on them and are complimented by a zebra pattern and hot pink trim. They are SO cute. AND they have pushed me into green territory, a side of the map I have carefully avoided along with all the blue states. Surprisingly, the Barbie bags (that bravely sport the message “When you look this good, who cares if you’re plastic”) have changed my life. I feel really great about walking out of the ultra capitalist and exploitive mega-mart knowing that my bags are not impacting the world around me, aside from the zebra print which seems to stop people in their tracks. These bags save the store money so they can use it more efficiently. They will never end up embedded in my back fence, and they aren’t going to choke any bunnies or trap any fish. This is change I can feel good about.

So I wondered why I resisted for so long. Why did it take Barbie to make me do the right thing? Because we’re stuck. The entire nation has picked sides and pledged such allegiance to our teams that common sense has ceased being a priority. I realize that some people are enlightened enough to avoid this trap and I applaud them. However, I would be willing to bet that it is a smaller group than we want to admit. In my efforts to avoid government-mandated green living, I have missed out. The Prius, reusable shopping bags, organic foods, and comfortable footwear have become symbolic of a movement that solicits our government for very intrusive policy. I want nothing to do with that so I have opted for a gas-guzzler, plastic bags, pesticide-ridden produce, and, most sadly, VERY uncomfortable shoes. All to ensure that nobody mistakes me for one of THEM.

But one of my core values is responsibility. I firmly believe that if we cannot be responsible for ourselves, rules have to be made and enforced. Then the government grows. Being good stewards of the earth is a God-given mandate. It is a shame that it has been politicized to the extent that “will you recycle this?” has become a loaded question. It is part of the battle we are in. It has become increasingly easy to lose sight of what is good and right to feed our agendas. As it gets easier, it gets harder to detect, too. That’s what makes it dangerous.

Do we have to fight? I think we do. I think the stakes are high. But the fight shouldn’t be over what is common sense. If we could get past the bags, we could dialog about the issues that matter, the ones that we can’t fix on our own. We just may find that if we stop fighting over bags, the big issues are not so big.Barbie


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