Ignorance of the unintended consequences of our actions does not absolve us from responsibility for those unintended consequences.

Take the simple things.  Things everyone has to do because it’s a biological fact of our existence.  We have to blow our nose and wipe our butts.  The human body exudes a number of wastes and one of the most important things we have done for our health as a species is cleaning up our wastes so they do not spread disease.  Very important.  Fundamental.

But do you think about what happens when you flush that toilet?  Do you think about where your toilet paper comes from when you need to wipe?  Do you think about where the tissue came from when you sneeze or blow your nose?  What are the unintended consequences of using toilet paper and tissues?  What are the unintended consequences of what happens to our waste once it is flushed away?

We have collectively not thought about these things.  Most people are unaware that facial and toilet paper products are often produced by clear cutting virgin forests?  And the fact that the more we buy those products, the more we encourage companies to clear cut those virgin forests.  The sad fact of capitalism is that it will continue to engage in revenue generating behaviors to the detriment of all other variables.  Humanity has built an engine of planetary destruction… because we need to wipe our butts.

I know I didn’t intend to wipe my butt with the virgin forests of the world.  Did you?  Is that what you intended when you asked for with your dollars a toilet tissue that is soft and strong?  Unfortunately, ignorance of the unintended outcomes does not absolve us of responsibility for these outcomes.

We must wake up.  We must become aware of the unintended consequences of our purchasing behaviors.  We all have basic facts of life that we have to deal with, but how we choose to deal with these collectively shapes our world.  What we vote for with our dollars is the world we are going to get.  In the system of Capitalism, money is our power, and it is the only thing the system understands.

So we are rising up.  Many peoples the world over, are beginning to speak out against the injustices of the world that are so often unintended consequences of the benign purchases we intended to make. We just wanted our things, we did not want to ruin the planet to get them. We must do more by expanding our realization to include the fact that the system will not change until we individually recognize our unintended consequences of all the choices that we make.   We must become aware of our impact on the global system, and speak to them in the language they understand.

So your job, if you truly wish to be part of changing the system to something better is to educate yourself.  Examine your life and your purchases.  Find out the unintended consequences of the choices that you make.  Take responsibility for making better choices.  You vote with your money for the kind of world that you want.  Make sure your purchases are for good.


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How Toilet Paper is Made:


 How Facial Tissue is Made:


 The Effects of Sewage


 Action Item:

How will you take responsibility for the unintended consequences of your hygiene and your waste? What are the other things in your life that have unintended consequences?