I’m not anti-consumerism, but…

I realise that, like almost everyone I know, I have fallen victim to the myth that having (and more importantly buying) things will make you happy.

Early in my net searching for information and advice on how to live a  minimalist life I came across Joshua Becker’s blog Becoming Minimalist. He has a great quote at the top of his blog:

The best things in life

are not things.

This really resonated with me, I thought of all the times I had been shopping just to cheer myself up, to make myself happy. My sister-in-law and I even had a deal with each other where every fortnight we would go shopping with a limited amount of money we could spend. Off we would go with our $40 bucks (or whatever the amount was – we changed it regularly…) and we would buy things we didn’t need just to buy them. More often than not we bought things we didn’t need or even want. Just to buy something.

So on my journey to minimalism I’m questioning my buying habits using the basic of rule of:

Is it something I need, or is it something I love?

If the answer is ‘no’ then don’t buy it.

Simple really! I tried it earlier this week while I was killing some time waiting for an appointment. There was nothing in the shop that I needed or loved, so I walked out without buying anything. And  not only did I feel like I had some control back in my life, but I also felt happy! Ironic, really.

I’m definitely not anti-consumerist. If I need something, or if I really love something, then I will buy it. But I’m not going to be a sucker to advertising myths anymore.

Uylsses butterfly

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2 Responses

  1. I’m so happy for you that you’ve made this discovery. It’s liberating, isn’t it? 🙂

    There’s nothing wrong with capitalism and consuming stuff. It has enriched our society and improved our quality of life in ways we can’t even begin to imagine. (Example: being able to go to a supermarket and buy whatever food you need, unlike our ancestors 150 years ago who had to make do with whatever food they could grow or buy from the local trader, which would have been limited or sometimes non-existent.)

    But like everything in life, it’s about balance. When capitalism and consumerism get out of control, that’s when society gets screwed up and humans start having problems. (To use the last example: when we get too carried away and start eating whatever junk food we want without discipline, we get obese and depressed.)

    All the people who label you an “anti-consumerist” or a “communist” just because you think there should be some restraints are idiots. They don’t get this stuff about finding the right balance. This is why we are living in a period of morbid obesity, climate change and an economic/banking crisis. These are all the results of stupid humans not realising that unrestrained capitalism is actually a really bad idea for the human race in the long-term. (We will figure it out, it just takes a while.)

    • “Liberating” is exactly the right word for how I’m feeling! Thank you!

      So great to see there are like-minded people out there… it really does give me hope that we, humans, will find that balance eventually.

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