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finding positive joy

Updated on August 18, 2010

Exposing the Depth of Our Consumerism

Well, I was pretty proud of myself, over the early years of my motherhood, for my striving efforts to become more environmentally efficient, to add health and happiness to my family in modest ways. It was only recently that I became more awake to the thought that we are all in a time of wild and crazy consumption that has spread the globe.

Consumerism is the scepter that fully inhabits our consciousness to the point of saturation, in fact into our subconscious receptors. That's right, folks, we don't even notice we're doing it! The lessons of ABC's now really stand for "Always Be Consuming", since that is the strongest message that get's through to kids who are anywhere near to 'mainstream' culture. Starting from the earliest age possible, the entity of consumerism approaches and easily ensnares it's victim; children. These same children perpetuate the memories and traditions of their consumerist lifestyles to pass on to future generations, making it the tie that replaces real familial relationships, allowing for lives that are full of 'stuff' to distract everyone. Sorry to break it to you, but even we so-called green type folks are doing it, if not maybe to a lesser or more conscious degree.

Last night I watched Yes Men Save the World which was not only brilliantly filmed, but spoke to my last comment in such a striking way. In the Dow Chemical hoax, it was made clear that individual shareholders reacted in a way that was unthinkable given the circumstances. They would rather make sure they lose no money than make sure people were properly cared for. Now if you were walking down the street, and someone gave you a choice to help a person, or save money, what would you do? What if the person were nearby? The answer is hopefully obvious. But what happens when people are asked this same question, with their privacy in tact? For the typical capitalist consumer, the answer is save t hine own money ! At the cost of human lives! Not to be a downer but we literally let down thousands of people per day, based on our consumer decisions; some more directly than others, but the results remain, regardless of our removal from seeing them.

Thanks a lot, group! From all of us at the office...

As a parent, one is faced with making decisions every day about what one's child will be exposed to. In my case, for example, I have chosen to avoid certain toxic foods and candy, excessive plastic toys, and violent images. My children, when faced with my sometimes necessary explanations of how things work, query as to how anyone can be so cruel as to poison children for their own profit, with no regard to the specific outcomes. "Why would grown-ups make all that candy if it were really poison? Why would people make so much plastic to pollute the earth and seas?"

What they can't yet understand is that while individual people may attest to having scruples and good sense about how to treat their fellow man, the group mentality acts as a machine, allowing individuals to hide their actions, knowing that the lowest common denominator will be what matters in this equation!

A Longer, better life

Not only could letting go of this sticky goo free us up to evolve a little more, but we could spur on a snowball effect of human care that could extend life and the quality of it in amazing ways! While I have generally scoffed at ideas of longevity in the past, I have begun to realize the idea of death is also one that's sold to us. Not merely death, but the disease that precedes it. What if disease is on the rise simply because we believe this is what happens?

Of course I am in the midst of reading Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume which is tinting my focus at the moment. If you haven't read this tale, it deals with longevity in an absurd yet useful way. Apparently, humans deal with death as an unavoidable circumstance, while the main character defies death, employing various simple techniques. It exposes our attachment to death, as we have come to expect it. In effect, this reasoning strengthens what the yes men point out as 'cult' followings of 'free market' ideology that spins its web of belief that, above all, to be is to consume. We all seem to get caught up in the web, which, we all 'know' leads to certain death.

My only approach so far, would be to maintain a focus on life, and joy rather than death. Yes, we could go into more specifics and we will! See you next Hub!

Living or fearing

Do you think most people live by fearing death and insignificance?

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