Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why do we over consume?

There are lots of different blogs out there about the consumption of America and the impact of the media on our lives. One of my favorite blogs ever, Becoming Minimalist, had a post just today about ways to escape, and WHY to escape consumerism. He says and I quote, "After all, to live is to consume." Please check out his blog and when you comment tell him who sent you!

***Random thought I need to share.... I quote a LOT of bloggers and I always give them credit. I've never had one have a problem with it, but I like to let them know that I used them in my own posts. So IF you read a blog that I suggest please let that blogger know that I sent you. I don't EVER want a blogger to think I am using them without permission or without the appropriate links to their page.***

The big question here is WHY do we over consume? Sure I could list all of the common reasons:

1. the effects of media, print, tv, commercials, etc.
2. the desire to want more thats within us all
3. "keeping up with the Jones' " 

But I think it goes MUCH deeper than that. Sure, all of those things I listed are very real. If everyone is buying the newest IPOD, it's hard for us not to buy one too. We want to be cool. We want to have what others have. I think thats normal. It's natural to want things. I believe that God made us that way. But WE have to learn how to control it. 

In my opinion, the reason we over consume has to do with the list above, but more than anything I think it's this...


I know that probably sounds so extreme to you but stay with me. I feel strongly that when I am restless on the inside for whatever reason, I tend to over consume. I think the desire to want to go buy something comes from something not being right on the inside. Have you ever had that feeling inside of you that you wanted to go buy something SO bad? You didn't have anything particular in mind but the thought of spending money and walking through the mall made your stomach get in knots? That comes from restlessness. 

When our hearts and heads have priorities straight we don't feel the need to over consume. When we don't get overly stressed out about things then we don't feel the need to get a "high" from shopping. If we can condition ourselves to understand that stress happens, bad days will occur, things DO happen that convince you that you need to shop, your friends WILL have cooler stuff then you.... if we can let ourselves KnOW these things than we can begin the process of curing our restlessness other ways.

I hope I haven't lost you. :) And I hope that this makes sense, and if it doesn't I hope that you will at least CONSIDER listening to what I am saying.

Since I was a youngster I have always had that tid bit of restlessness in me. I always wanted more. Which in SOME areas is a good thing. I always knew I was better than some of the losers i dated, I knew that I deserved better friends, and I knew that I had what it took to "go places." I mean none of that in a self centered way, but it was true. I allowed myself to feel down a lot but somehow I always shook it off and rose above. Dead end jobs would satisfy me for a bit and then i'd feel that urge to FLEE and go onto something better. Some of that is good. It's called being driven... but it ALSO effected me in my shopping habits and financial aspects. I work VERY hard to keep that under wraps. There are days I want to delete all of my blogs and start over with writing about fashion, and the arts, and I want to spend money like its water, shop every day, travel the world and totally (excuse my language) screw this minimalistic-saving money-living on less-thing i've been working on for so long. But I FIGHT that.

When I feel restless and feel that urge to shop, I sit down with my checkbook and budget sheets. I go over what I have spent, how much I have saved, what bills are coming up soon, what things are coming up that I need to save for, and that gives me that same "high" as I call it without me spending a dime. We need reminders of where have been and where we are headed. And that is

To sum it all up... i think we over consume because we are restless on the inside and always want more. i think we as a society, or those few of us that WANT to live with less, have to wake ourselves up and quit sugar coating it. It's not that we needed those shoes, its that we wanted them and couldn't think of anything else. We have to learn to be real with ourselves or we can NEVER get to the root of the problem.

Did any of this make sense? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to know your thoughts.

I love comments--please give me some love, and share this blog with a friend!

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys,

    I definitely think a lot of our desires to consume and consume is driven by cultural and social pressures.

    It's important that we can separate ourselves from the rat race for more and more, and realign ourselves with more sustainable values.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts (I actually found YOU guys in the "Becoming Minimalist" comment section).