While listening to the news recently about the precautions and checklists that hospitals are using to deal with Ebola, I am reminded of the benefits of visual lists, of how the process of making a list minimizes the chances of making mistakes. Checklists aren’t necessarily medicine specific or even new to me. When I was in my early twenties, I learned to fly a Cessna 150, where staying in flight and making sure that the airplane was flight-worthy relied on a checklist. During the holiday season, I make less crucial lists to buy groceries and gifts, and maybe even to map out my new year.
After spending the past several weeks devoting much thought, consideration, and conversation to the subjects of consumption, hoarding, greed, and economic oppression, I decided to make a list for myself. I have just finished a limited-consumption, sharing, and greater good list for my wallet as a visual reminder when making future financial decisions and purchases.
Here is my checklist:
1. Shop and support stores that share similar values to mine: awareness of environmental impacts, getting back to basics with healthy non-toxic chemical pesticide, eating locally grown and organic foods, staying away from sweat shop products, and making sure the company I am supporting is in favor of human rights, including paying their employees a livable wage.
2. When buying, always ask this first: Do I need this? Does the person I am buying this for need it?
3. Does the item I am buying economically oppress others?
4. Am I living with as light a material impact on the planet as possible?
5. Am I sharing my wealth, time, and energy with others?
6. Are my retirement investments aligned with my values?
7. Buy local, handmade art, or experiential as gifts whenever possible.
I trust your list will be different and I hearty encourage you to make one. What’s on your list?
Seth's Blog: Wall Street gets what it wants
MSNBC: Threat of Ebola's spread calls for careful, thorough response
Aircraft Checklist History
The New Yorker: The Checklist
The Checklist Manifesto