Sunday, February 25, 2018

Simple Life Not a Fad

Humans are consumers: (Homo Consumens)  not difficult to see why.  A professor at a Catholic University gives the readers of the Kyeongyang magazine an article on consumerism.  Korea has  both those who seek to possess and those who are going in the opposite  direction.

One sociologist suggest we have gone beyond our biological needs to live and procreate; our greed makes us increase our need for material goods and services. In a consumer society: what we wear, eat, where we live, what kind of car we drive, makes known our position in society, our tastes, and even our personality.

Is what is consumed unrelated to how we judge a  person? Let us suppose we have two housewives, they both buy cabbage, bread, curry with the only difference being one housewife buys coffee beans and the other mixed coffee. We can jump to the conclusion that one is lazier than the other judging by the kind of coffee bought. This is also true in the places in which one lives; we  make judgments. Is this good logic? Of course not but this is the kind of society we have been brainwashed to expect.

Consumerism has developed our industrialization and extended the market. When production is greater than the demand we have the increase of different products and the marketing of kindness and the beautiful. Beauty was always important but now the elegant, hair grooming, cosmetics, and plastic surgery have become financial money makers— products are unlimited.

Why do we seek to possess more than we need? When our needs for life and security are met, we start looking for other needs. What was beautiful 20 years ago may not be so today. 20 years ago, no need for a handphone today it's necessary. Society has created a need for it. When we have a nice handbag or a beautiful looking car we bask in their gorgeousness. When we put photographs of our overseas trips on SNS,  we are not only showing some beautiful pictures but also showing our wealth and good tastes.

Many are tired of the rat race and are opting for the simpler life. They see the destruction of the environment and the effect on weather.  Consumerism has a lot of bad side effects. Many realize if the wealth in the developed countries were possessed by the underdeveloped countries, we would need three more worlds.

The possessing of material goods also in the eyes of many is not what it was. The effects of showing off our wealth are no longer what it used to be. More interest is shown now for service and experience.

The professor ends the article reminding the readers that many consumers are looking for the true self which is not packaged with goods and services. What we need and want is not easily grasped. Necessary to reflect on what consuming will do to us, our society, the environment and to our descendants. If we do not reflect on this and fail to take  the minimal life seriously, we will do what some did  years ago to simplify their lives but it was only a fad which quickly disappeared. 

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