In case you didn’t know, we live in an economy based on consumption. Products and services are strategically presented to us, based on tons of data and market research to get us to part with our hard-earned dough. We are sheep! We are nudged into accepting buying habits which are led by the media, the political culture, and large corporations, commonly known as corporatocracy . We have been sold through the use of propaganda, that we as Americans need to be widget owners. So we buy widgets, then soon, we are sold on the importance of being families who own two widgets. Then multiple colors of widgets become all the rage, so of course we have to have those. Soon we look up and face the fact that we have all these widgets, but we are not happy, cause now we have to endure the emotion and the cost to maintain all our colorful widgets! Sound familiar? We need to stop it! Stop being led by corporatocracy, we need to confront all these institutional and cultural influences who have broken our spirit of resistance. We need to encourage individual self-respect and collective self-confidence, especially in our children, if not, well then,consider ourselves a nation of surfs!
It is our desires which are bankrupting us, and these desires are constantly glamorized by corporatocracy, delivered to us by the media. We need to find a way to curb desire for material intoxication, and find comfort with the free things available to us. That said, there are times when material items do bring us happiness. Your first car or your first house surely made you happy. That happiness is most likely from the sense of independence which those material objects signified at that time. For some reason, you fail to get the same elation when you buy your second car or second house, cause they just seem to become a means of transportation, or simply a roof over your head.
There is a great book called Your Money or Your Life, which I promise will change the way you view money. This book delves into helping you find your “enough point”. At what point do material objects go from bringing happiness, as in the case of your first car, to a feeling of indifference. The point of the book is to encourage people to rethink their life choices from the ground up in a very tangible fashion. This is something that very few books manage to pull off, at least for me. I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate the finer things in life, cause I do. I just think we have been catapulted into a self-centered instant gratification society, which ultimately leads to unhappiness. It is sold to us by illustrating the happy people who have this nice shiny object, but often times that is not reality. So, don’t fall for it folks! We, as the PF community, need to lead our ‘Tribes’ as Seth Godin says, to a more happy and gratifying way of life.