One of the things that we first-world countries have basically wrong in my opinion is that we must be a consumer driven society. Everyone buying and consuming more and more each year is the bedrock of our economic system, especially here in the U.S.
Over my seven decades on this earth I have accumulated literally tons of stuff that I really didn’t need or actually, didn’t really want. I bought it because it was the “in” thing to do. I bought it because the marketeers convinced me that I had to have it. Yeah, I am human too and fall for the same things I seemingly so loath in others. 🙂
As my income grew from poverty to upper middle class my consumption constantly increased. I can’t tell you how many things I have thrown out in my life, not because they were worn out but because I just lost interest in them or maybe they had just lived out their planned obsolescence or something new just came along. I now seem to be at one of those milestone places in my life where I want to shake things up. As a result I am currently shedding “stuff ” in my life. I have hundreds of books on the shelves behind me. I am throwing almost all of them out along with all that obsolete technology stashed in the cabinets below them. I am contributing to the height of my local Mount Trashmore.
But I kind of think it was not as bad in my childhood as it is now. I know I sound like that old person who laments for the “good old days” but I have to speak my mind. There are just so many what I consider frivolous things today that are considered essential that I would never have dreamed of in my youth.
- Every child’s teeth have to be perfect. Parents spend thousands of dollars on making sure that their kids have exactly the same teeth as all the others.
- While we are on the subject of teeth now it seems that everyone’s teeth must be the purest form of white or you will be shunned from society. So we spend hundreds each year on things to bleach them out.
- It is not good enough to just have a kitchen with a working stove and large enough sink. Now we have to update our kitchens on a regular basis. It used to be granite, cherry and stainless steel but now after a half-dozen years or so that is no longer acceptable.
- In my day if you had a nice green backyard you were considered lucky. Now you HAVE to have a fire pit, an outdoor dining room, and a large deck costing thousands of dollars.
- And then there is the clothing fashions, especially for women. Don’t get me started on 7 inch heels; they are the most ridiculous thing on this planet!
It seems the marketeers tell us what to do and almost all of us jump to their demands. We must spend more and more in order to keep our country great! Ironically now, instead of lamenting about what we don’t have, so many of us mourn the fact that our lives are just too complicated. But we still almost religiously go on and on to the next new fad.