I was watching a film tonight about ethics which posed an interesting question. It went something like this. You are walking past a pond, and in the middle is a small child, stranded, with the child’s parents nowhere to be found. You look down at your shoes and realise you are wearing your new Gucci shoes and have no time to take them off before the child falls deeper into the pond and below the surface. Setting aside the self-indulgent psychopath, most people in this predicament would not think twice about launching themselves into the pond to save the child and ruin their £1000 Gucci shoes.
Yet, if the same person witnessed the same child in hunger or poverty, would they be prepared to contribute £1000 to a charity seeking to tackle said hunger and poverty – would they? A question that opens up the hollow vanity of consumerism.