I feel like I am being suffocated by the level of thoughtless consumption that fills the businesses on our streets, that fills our air with exhaust and toxins, that pollutes our water, that strips our lands of its purpose and eats up our time, hope, energy and joy. We have built industries, institutions, businesses and online sites that have created countless opportunities for us to customize our own personal preferences of gluttony and cannibalism.
Is no one else bothered by the entitlement of consumerism or the lack of thinking in our choices, beliefs, words and actions? Has anyone realized that we have lost ourselves or maybe we have we been consumed in our consuming? Are we aware of what consumerism has done to our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships?
We bite and devour one another online and we consume each other’s pictures and post. We try to fill ourselves up on someone else’s families, talents, lives, words, beliefs, likes and dislikes. We bounce from table to table to see if there is anything or anyone that we can consume to make us feel something. Where can we go, what can we look at and who can satisfy our growing appetites? We are so full and we are so empty. We are so busy and we are so bored. We have so much money and we are so poor. We have so many “friends” and we are so alone. We have so much to be happy about and we are so depressed. We are so full of fear and we are so empty of love.
I cannot do it anymore. I need more. You need more. We were made for more. We were never designed to be consumers. We are designed to be givers and receivers of things that are good, true, pure, excellent, lovely and beautiful. We are designed to be creators of life, encouragers of hope and participators in joy.
How do we stop consuming and being consumers? I don’t know exactly. I think consuming is a very hard habit to break and I don’t think you can just stop being a consumer. I think something has to change us from the inside out and not only give us a new identity but fill us up with love for ourselves, for others and for our world. I do believe we can be part of this process by being honest.
Ask yourself some questions and try with all your might to be honest. Are you tired? Are you weary? Do Aunt Betty’s memes not move you any more to do better and try harder? Are you tired of hating people that you do not know? Are you tired of being jealous of people that you do not know? Do you want more than hundreds of unhealthy food options? Are you tired of hacks, tips, advice and being spoon-fed your life? Are you tired of drinking and shopping? Are you ready to be known and accepted for you?
What do you want?
Do you want to take a risk and live a real life with real people in real time? Consumerism is more than a way of life, it is a disease that devours life, relationships, communities, love, hope, joy, peace, compassion, empathy, dreams, imagination, creativity, passions, desires, truth and the very things that make us human beings; and the very things that make life worth living. It’s time we remembered who we are and what it’s like to get our hands dirty, to smell life, to taste uncertainty, to hear our own breath and heartbeat, to feel alone, to be hungry, to commit to loving ourselves well, to live in mystery, to laugh in community and to see real magic happen.