The other day, I wrote about how perpetual growth is the economic doctrine which is driving our civilization to the brink of destruction. While that article pinned the responsibility for changing that policy firmly at the door of politicians, it’s worth remembering that we, as citizens and consumers have the ability to affect that change in other ways than at the ballot box.
A social change, not one driven by legislation, but by people saying that enough is enough.
For so long we’ve been driven to consume more than we need, to replace perfectly serviceable technology or clothes as they are superseded or made unfashionable. This deliberate policy of making us want/need MORE is intended to keep us distracted by and indebted to the pursuit of the shiny new thing.
The need to earn more to pay for this season’s new tech or trend, to have a bigger house, bigger car or more sumptuous festive feast drives us into debt, forces us into wage slave employment and takes our attention away from the real issues in the world and away from what is really important – health & happiness.
It is never more topical than at this time of year, where joyous family celebrations are all too often tinged by the stress of the debt accrued to pay for them or the sheer effort required to create a spread worthy of a professional TV chef and so ubiquitously rammed down our throat in all the supermarket commercials.
The endless pursuit of more, of the shiny new thing does little but dull our minds and diminish our joy.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a shiny new piece of tech and a slap up meal as much (if not significantly more) than the next person but there comes a point where you have to realise that the consumerist conveyor belt that we are all on needs to stop.
How much more time and/or disposable income would you have if you didn’t embrace the need to keep up with fashion, to get that new iPhone on the day of release. How would you spend that time and money?
Would you read a book, spend time with your family, go for a walk, write a book or paint a picture?
Would you campaign for a better world, a fairer spread of income and an end to exploitative and polluting corporate practices?
Would you give time or money to a charity, play a game of football or just sit down, have a cup of tea and relax.
Surely, any one of those pursuits is worth more than a phone with marginally better performance than the one you have now or a new dress when already have several?
In a world which presses us to chase our tails all day every day in pursuit of more, perhaps it’s time to step back and say that enough is enough, that we’d rather have more time and less stuff, more joy and less money.
I want a life that’s full of memories, not things.
Have a great Christmas/Holidays/Yule and all the best for the new year.