Consumerism has been the topic of the decade and how with its spread the earth is suffering and all its prime resources are depleting. Blame it on the industrial revolution, or the irresponsible behavior of the baby boomers and the generations that followed them, whatever! Yes we all over consume, and most of us probably don’t even consider all those unnecessary purchases as overconsumption.
Everybody knows that gluttony leads to the depletion of the earth’s resources, but this subject has been over discussed and abused. Today, I want to talk about the social effect of consumerism. We were born and raised in a consumerist environment., since opening our eyes to this world we were flooded with clothes, toys, and other gadgets. I am not only talking about the rich people, even the poorer families had access to all those “un-necessities” especially after the proliferation of products made in China and all the replicas.
So from a very young age, we were used to having many things, and giving absolutely no value to any since we always took them for granted. All this developed a culture of what I like to call “Fast Pleasures”. To simplify it even more, we can think about the Zara philosophy, the clothes chain claims “the success of Zara's collections lies in the ability to recognize and assimilate the continuous changes in fashion, constantly designing new models that respond to customer Desires.” What does that mean? That we can totally be capricious and wear a different shirt everyday of the month because Zara can provide it to us with very reasonable prices and the latest designs!
I have nothing against Zara of course; all my respect to Mr. Ortega and his genius, my problem is with our frivolity. Most of the things we own today have no value for us anymore because they are easily replaceable. My granny still has some dresses from her honeymoon in 1955! Why she keeps them? Not only because of the emotional attachment to them, but due to their value; tailor made dresses from the best textiles and the finest cuts of the time. Those dresses took a lot of work from her side; choosing the textile, color, model, fitting, tailor, etc. As for us, any dress we see, we just buy it, wear it once or twice and then go for the hunt of a new one!
The point that I want to get to is that this kind of behavior is unfortunately creeping into our personal lives and relationships. Nowadays, most of the people are searching for fast pleasures - be it at work, with their partners, and even their circle of people. The turnover of employees in companies is higher than ever, not always because of poor management but because the employees for some reason want a change. The divorce rates are always increasing and marriage rates decreasing because most of the people cannot bear the idea of being stuck with the same person for the rest of their lives. Friends are changed like the Zara shirts because there are no real friends anymore!
My message to you is that we should all try to reflect more about our values and behaviors, because I believe that whatever comes fast, leaves fast. And those fast pleasures we are constantly pursuing disappear before we even get to enjoy them. Maybe it’s time to give more importance not to our belongings but to our surroundings - the people around us and our environment; appreciate more and love more.
And you what do you think?