Thursday, May 20, 2010

consumerism.




consumerism is scary. it makes you want things you don't actually need.

for instance, you have a roof over your head, decent clothing, a decent car, 3210 cell phone, line phone, PC & internet connection, a TV set, and you can afford food.

you should be happy as a clown right? you have all the basic necessity covered right?

WRONG. VERY WRONG.

you may have a link terrace house roof over your head, but you will want a condominium-with-a-swimming-pool-and-a-gym-which-you-dont-use-but-u-want-anyway-because-it-sounds-awesome roof on your head. succeeding to have that, you will want to have a-bungalow-with-10-rooms-and-a-swimming-pool-and-also-a-fire-place roof over your head because its awesome-er than what you have now.

you may have a decent clothing you wear, but the moment someone comes over clad in Guess or LV or Prada or Calvin Klein or tah apa lagi out there, you will want that too. and when you ask yourself why, you cant find a good enough answer.

you may have a 3210 cell phone which functions perfectly for calls and messages, but the moment that jerk ass friend waves his new i-phone/blackberry/whateverphonewithpolyphonicringtone infront of your face, why, you will want that too. when the fact is, you survived just fine with what you had.

same thing applies with everything else. you want something yang society tells you as something you really need. and in my opinion, we want all these craps because they exist in the first place. manufacturers are smart. they feed on our wants and greeds for something that looks better than something we already have. they know that we are a sucker for that kind of things, and that somehow we need to prove ourselves superior than other people. and they feed us this crap that makes us think that it makes us a better person to own something which is more expensive, more modern, more cutting edge, more more more more.. than everybody else. when everything is just plain greed.

as the Budhism teaches its followers, it is stated in the 2nd (of 4) noble of truth that the cause of suffering is infact desire or craving, and ignorance. ignorance to i wont touch la sebab its not the topic of the day.

so this is what i got from zenguide.com

CRAVING
"is the deep-seated desire that all living beings have for the pleasures of the senses, and for life itself. For instance, people always seek to enjoy good food, entertainment and pleasant company. Yet none of these can give them complete and lasting satisfaction. After the fine meal has been eaten, the beautiful music heard and the pleasant company shared, one is still not content. One would like to enjoy these pleasures again and again, and for as long as possible.

People who desire to own many things also can never be fully satisfied too. Like children in a toyshop, they crave all the attractive things they see around them. But like children, they soon become dissatisfied with what they already have and desire more. Sometimes, they can hardly eat or sleep until they get what they want. Yet when they succeed in getting what they want, they may still find their happiness short-lived. Many will be too worried for the safety and condition of their new possessions to enjoy it. Then when the object they possess eventually breaks into pieces and has to be thrown away, they will suffer its loss even more.

When we have obtained something we desire, we may want more and more of it, and so greed arises. Because of desire and greed, people will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. Uncontrolled desires can also lead to addiction, for example, to smoking, drinking and overeating, all of which lead to suffering and cause mental and physical harm.

If another person prevents one from getting what is desired, one may feel anger towards that person. Desire, when obstructed, can lead to ill will and anger. This in turn can lead to harsh words, violent quarrels and even fights or killings. All this is suffering."


Consumerism is just that. it is something that feeds our wants and greeds.



Don't even get me started on the impacts it brings. It clearly highlights class differences and widen socioeconomic gaps since the use of the consumer goods is a display of class status(more suffering). Sadly, this had been going on since ancient times. just look at the lavish tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs and how it contrasts with the tombs of the kuli kuli and slaves.

now lets ask ourselves, do we really want to have a part in that?

SSK

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