We are told many lies every day. That’s advertising. But they all can be summed up with one big lie. We need more of everything to be happy.
We. Need. More.
We need a better car. We need more clothes, more shoes, a better phone. We need all the latest gadgets, because lord help us if we have to do something manually.
And what about exercise? We can no longer simply go for a walk. No, now we need ten different kinds of equipment which do us absolutely no good because they end up collecting dust in a lonely corner of our home.
That’s what started all of this. Well, that and finding out that I don’t need to spend a lot of money to be happy. It was a real eye-opener, but that’s a different post.
I may have mentioned that R.J. and I have been going for walks in the park by our house lately, almost every day. Imagine that, relative peace and quiet (there’s a highway nearby) and fresh air. And hills.
The hills are getting easier. I no longer feel like I’m going to pass out when I reach the top, but they are still a challenge. But these walks give me time to process. Time to think things through without all the input of useless advertising. Time away from all the noise and distractions.
All the while I can feel the flabbiness tightening. It’s a great low-cost workout and therapy all in one! But the best part is there’s no complicated dance moves to remember. I just have to walk. I’ve been doing that for a while now so I think I have the hang of it.
So why do I need all this other stuff? If I can get in shape and get healthy by simply walking why must I have anything else?
The answer is simple – I don’t. And neither do you. And this goes well beyond exercise equipment. As long as we have what we need, plus a few extras – I’m not saying we should live on bread and water and stare at four walls all day – we can be happy, healthy, and whole.
But we are bombarded with all of these messages for all of these things every waking minute of every day telling us we need to have them. We need to buy them. We’ll figure out the meaning of life if we buy the latest gizmo.
And why? Because we actually need all of this junk?
Hell, no! It’s because some marketing genius way back when decided that in order to increase sales he had to create perceived demand. Perceived, not actual, not real.
It’s our perception that we need a new car, that we need a new phone the minute it comes out, that we need a better house. But why do we think we need all this stuff?
Because we’re told so every waking minute of every day by people who only care about one thing – increasing their company’s sales and bottom line.
Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t think companies are inherently evil. They are not the enemy. They are just doing what every company needs to do to survive. It’s how our society and culture have evolved.
And ultimately it’s our choice.
It’s our choice to buy into the lies and hype and perceived demand or not. It’s our choice to go into debt over frivolous purchases and then wonder why we can’t pay our bills. It’s our choice to live in a home with a bunch of stuff we never use or even look at. It’s our choice to drink a $10 cup of coffee every day…
What will you choose?