The past two years have been a journey of a lot of personal growth. Opening Jaded Local has been a part of this.‌ I’ve learned a lot and wanted to write about something that I‌ think ties everything together in a resounding theme.

It all started with learning about veganism and practicing vegetarianism (or “veganishism” as I call it). The topic of veganism may scare you, but this post isn’t about that so don’t worry. Veganism has only been a gateway drug for me. 

When‌ I started my journey learning about this lifestyle, I wanted to learn as much as I‌ could. I‌ started to read and listen to brand-new voices. With that, I started to learn about big ideas I’ve never heard of before.

It’s been a challenge both on an intellectual level and a spiritual/personal level. There were ideas I‌ fought but then later came around to.

One of the bigger realizations I’ve had is realizing how strongly connected things are. From historic events to modern systems, all the way to the personal life, it’s all connected.

It turns out that our way of thinking as a culture is closely connected to historic systems I‌ thought were dead.

A concept in some vegan circles is called Expanding Your Circles of Compassion. That has only made more sense the more I’ve learned about the connection between things.

Expand your Circle of Compassion. Circles of people and animals.
Used with permission from Vegan Street

One major benefit of this is that I‌ read more material on this subject through a new lens I wouldn’t have acquired if I‌ hadn’t allowed myself to be challenged.

In addition to that, I’m writing about the true picture of fast fashion, and how as a small business owner (and person), I‌ am trying to reject it.

You see, I‌ knew about how fast fashion worked before I was outraged by it. I‌ knew animals suffered in factory farms when‌ I ate meat. I knew we own too much stuff. I was aware of these things but there was a sense of apathy — a learned helplessness.

Veganism, and the people I‌ learned from, roused me.

The more I saw connections, the more my circle of compassion expanded, the more empathy I‌ felt for it all. I‌ felt more responsibility as a person.

Connections build communities. They build empathy. They build relationships that change you forever.

Disconnection creates the consumerist addictive society we experience. Disconnection creates isolation- even surrounded by people.‌ Disconnection is the reason for apathy even as problems snowball.  It breeds inaction.‌

Connections foster intentional action.

That is my cure. I don’t claim it’ll fix things on its own. I‌ think it’s a start because it was for me.

We don’t need to know the answers exactly. It’s as the author Daniel Quinn wrote in response to people asking him what to do after reading his book “Ishmael”.

He wrote that he didn’t have the answer for that but that his whole point in writing it was the idea that if we bring people to the same platform of wanting the same thing, we could start finding solutions together.

If we can all start to come together on a fundamental level of connection, it would give us the foundation and compass to start working towards a common goal.‌

Until then, I urge us all to fight against disconnection.

Reject fast fashion and shop more consciously.

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