Tuesday, July 14, 2015

how we are part of the system that expects us to spend carelessly

Please read the following article first.


I must admit, I am blown away completely by this guy's revelations. They make a lot of sense. Its fun to think if we all had jobs that were of shorter period or different time, how would the world around reflect it? Think of it like residing in an area with everyone working in same industry. All the industries around would adjust their offerings accordingly. Similar is this person's realization that after his long break from routine profession, he finds many old habits which seemed normal to be quite abnormal.

But what caught my interest is the possibility that the "life" that we live outside our office, is also just a by-product of it. And probably we are constantly involved in buying things we don't really need. And it might just to keep in line with others, or rather basically keep the dissatisfaction at bay. The same dissatisfaction brought about by the huge span of our time taken away by our professions. Its all connected! But still why do we want to buy stuff we know we don't need?

I see that in the past, there were the rich or the poor. The rich had too much wealth and too little to do, ending up doing exotic stuff or throwing their power around buying stuff, taking over , fighting wars etc. The poor had hardly any time to think beyond basic amenities and surviving the hurdles put up by the wealthy. Dissatisfaction was an entirely different ball game back then.

But the modern middle class person who earns enough, still finds himself truly in the middle of new problems. He earns well enough to pay off debts and serve his future generations. Duh, sounds stupid. Doesn't it? Which middle class person can claim he can serve future generations. Well, actually that is kind of true. If you change the perception what is needed for future generation, that is. We always tend to compare our goals to that of super wealthy fellows who end up saving empires for their generations. If only we knew and were assured that we have now is just great, we could stop the craving. Well, knowing what one really wants is an elusive treasure, ain't it? So we just would have to live with not knowing that, and occasionally pursuing things that attract our heart and mind.

We know we like the money we earn(admit it), but we aren't quite always happy with it. Ah, buying that expensive gadget/dress/vacation made life so fulfilling, but again we need to keep buying the seemingly unnecessary goods we see at the market, because the money will grow back, and what good do we do by stacking it up anyway? Isn't it? Add credit cards on top of this to make an excellent argument for spending unnecessarily. :)

I find our lives going around approximately in this cycle, with only slight variations.

While its perfectly ok for human beings to wander and lose track of what they want, I feel petrified by the thought of a huge industry, backed by our governments and people including us, who feed and survive on our inability to find what we want and stick to it. That means not only is our hunt for our satisfaction incredibly tough, we are also fighting a system that involves almost the entire humanity, that can keep evolving to make you stick to your negatives. Make the ads more colorful, mix those sensitive content, talk about stuff that makes you keep turning your hear, every single time. So each time I am fighting my laziness or craving for junk food, I am actually fighting millions of intelligent salesmen, scientists, business tycoons, corporate executives, engineers, and so on who have engineered perfect products that human beings, owing partially to genetic makeup, and partially to effective cultural and economic constraints , can never stop paying for it.

While all that sounds scary, none of these mean that you have to get pissed at things and walk away. Its more about realizing how macro economies rely intensely on our bad habits of laziness, procrastination and unhealthy choices of spending and consumption. Knowing that you are being taken for a ride with flashy advertisements, one should be keen to avoid stepping into this vicious circle when a choice falls through. Taking informed decisions is always better than ignoring the risks and stepping in, and lamenting later.  And in return for not stepping into this vicious circle of dissatisfaction, what you gain is more confident and resilient perspective of you own needs.

If you feel your life sucks, stop yourself the next time you are tempted to buy something you don't really need. You are just feeding your dissatisfied soul with foul fuel to just keep it burning. If it helps, take a break. Don't buy stuff. Create new things. Write about something, talk to people, take time to create new ideas, help people with things you are good with. These are real concrete things that help you solve problems with lack of time, not knowing what you want, being under pressure etc etc. Buying is just buying more trouble if not done with the right intent :)

1 comment:

  1. The world will call you insane and unambitious if you practice what you preach! But I understand what you mean...