Vapid Consumerism, or Why I want what I don’t NEED

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All of my life I have wanted things; we all have. This is (somewhat) natural. My body wants food to eat, water to drink, shelter, warmth, etc. Beyond those very basic requirements, little else is NEEDED. That’s where the disconnect begins.

You spend your whole life feeling incomplete; it is designed that way. We’ve all grown up consuming alarming amounts of advertising. The advertising around us is increasing every day, and with the popularization of the internet, it is more specific and enticing to each individual. Strangely, that isn’t really what I want to talk about.

Most of us have jobs these days, and an ever increasing number of them are sales related, directly or indirectly. I work in the service industry, I’m an auto mechanic (more about me here). Every year I hear how we have to work a little harder, go a little faster, increase sales by x%. Why does is always have to be more? Why are we never, as a business or an individual, satisfied? You can see the obvious parallel between consumers and producers, they are the same.

I, for one, am tired of it. I am tired of being left wanting JUNK. I don’t need it. I am tired of being told I NEED to sell a little bit more, go a little bit faster. I don’t want people being pressured into buying stuff they don’t NEED!

Back to that advertising I was talking about earlier. There is a great deal of psychological manipulation going on there. You won’t have a truly fulfilling existence until you buy thing x. Nonsense, but nonsense ingrained deeply in our consciousness. We need to unlearn this. We need a back to basics approach. Some call it minimalism, some call it simplification; no matter what you call it, it is a less cluttered, simpler and less stressful life. Reducing to only those things that have value is a huge weight off of your shoulders. I have learned this after clearing out only a few spots in the house; every box of junk gone is like a weight lifted off my neck.

This article started because I was upset. Tired of being told I am not doing enough, not selling enough, not having enough of the right things. We all need to make it stop. Don’t sell people things they don’t need. Don’t buy things you won’t use. Empty your life of consumer junk. Fill your time with people, experiences, love. You don’t have to “create value” there; it already exists.

In the spirit of life and family I will end with one of my favorite quotes (no idea of the origin):
“No man on his death bed ever wished he had spent more time at work.”

A few interesting books related to this topic:


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