What is the impact of my buying?

I was walking through the isles of the toy section of a local farm and hardware store with my wife. We tend to support local businesses wherever we can. So we had made a special trip to this store to get a few winter items for the kids.

Since Christmas is just a month or so away, the store was filled with all sorts of things that children would like. Our 3 year old was drawn to the toy truck/tractor section. As he was being mesmerized by the blinking, talking, action-oriented vehicles, we were looking at the traditional toys that we know from our past. You know things like John Deere tractors and Tonka trucks. In the case of Tonka, the wonderful metal toys they used to offer were not to be seen. Our disappointment almost turned to despair when we realized that most of the John Deere tractors were manufactured in the People’s Republic of China.

We got to talking about the nature of the toys that are available to our children. So much is made inexpensively and oriented to noise and action. We wondered two things. The first is what is the consequence for our children in terms of the activation of their imagination. Our son, was fascinated with toys that had buttons and made sounds. How does this support his play? Aren’t these toys he was playing with a bit like training him to be an effective robot pushing the right button when the right stimulus appears?

The second and probably more troubling concern is a complete disconnection between our children and the people who made the toys. Over 95% of the toys in this store were “Made in China”. They are made to meet a desire to have cheap toys that are flashy and entertaining. Little or no concern on a number of concerns starting with the toys true educational value.

This trend is pervasive in our culture. How many children (or adults) have a sense of what is involved in producing what we buy? How many of us know the impact on our long-term economic viability, the cost to the environment or the effect on our children of our buying choices of everything from toys to food to clothing to entertainment?

I know there are plenty of times I buy without a thought to these questions. Who is thinking about them? For the most part, not those who provide the good and services I buy. It is my responsibility. So when I buy anything, I MUST remember what is important to me before I buy anything. I ask myself how will this purchase supports those values and what is the impact of this purchase. If I am satisfied with my answers, great, then I go ahead and buy. If not, well, maybe I should practice a bit of restraint.

Your thoughts?

Until later,


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

1 thought on “What is the impact of my buying?”

  1. Lately, I have been trying to buy less, do without less and be “deliberate” in what I do buy. We have been choosing things that call for more togetherness to construct..mostly ..Food items. marshmallows and Corn flakes with green food coloring for Wreaths, Play dough, back to the basics. And you know what? our home is quieter.

    Just as an aside…My hub is 58 with an 8 year old…and he does get tired…that’s ok!!

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