Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Minimalism and Overconsumption





I was looking at a pile of rubbish and "things" I had sorted out the other day and it made me think about Minimalism and its audience. 

People that are drawn to Minimalism have most likely suffered from overconsumption and realized, this isn't the way. And some will have gone into debt because of it. Which means not only have they consumed more that they needed, but also more than they could afford which makes it even more important to stop and reconsider. And save. Because if you are in debt, you are a slave to your creditors. Debts are never good. Try to get rid of them as quickly as possible. There is no "good" debt. 

If you had to go into debt to buy what you desired, it is very clear that you were overconsuming. But most of us probably consume just within our financial limits, but still overconsume.  Which means, we have too much money on our hands and don't do anything sensible with it. That's a bitter truth. 

But the question is - why do we overconsume?

I highly recommend reading this excellent article about why we sacrifice our time to making money, instead of spending it on more worthwile things. It is a must read (and very enjoyable, too!)

http://www.womankindmag.com/articles/why-we-need-more-time-and-less-clothes/

The article quotes Professor Juliet Schor, Sociology Department of Boston College. https://www.bc.edu/schools/cas/sociology/faculty/profiles/juliet-schor.html

I found particularly interesting, that the media play such a big role in making us believe what we need to aspire for. It reminds me of the article of Sharon Beder, on the history of consumerism. http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/consumerism.html

The remarkable thing is, that we have been all manipulated for decades, if not for more than a century now. We have been educated to be consumers and overconsumers, who sacrifice their free time to work to obtain money, which we then spend. This behaviour traps us in a vicious circle of wanting more and more, spending more and more and working more and more. This behaviour enlaves us, until we decide to step of the spinning wheel and remember, there are more things to life that owning glitzy things.

Funny enough the media incessantly show us what we should own, what is aspireable. And I am just asking... who owns the media?

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6?IR=T

(this graphic is relatively old and only concerns the US, some things have changed, BUT don't worry, it's still sort of the same, and it is the same everywhere).

We are surrounded (or surround ourselves rather!) by TV an awful lot, and magazines, newspapers etc. They create a "reality" for us, that makes us believe, what is "normal", what "everybody does". And being owned by only few companies, that means we can be manipulated easily. I think we have to face the truth, that for years and years we have been bred and brainwashed to be the perfect consumer.

So, let's stop consuming just for its own sake and go out and do something worthwhile!





 

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