Day 55: An illusory affection.

Reflections on the lure of consumerism.

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If you can, take a moment to think about someone you care about.

Now, imagine that person getting some expensive new item for themselves. Maybe it’s the latest iPhone, or a nice pair of shoes.

Then, ask yourself this: now that they have this new item, do you like them more than you did before?

You see, we often get ourselves into the mindset of wanting new things because of the love (attention, respect, etc.) we think they’ll bring us. But how often is that ever really the case?

Consider the following passage:

“Understand, every moth is drawn to light, even when that light is a flame. But when the moth flies too close to the flame, we all know what happens: it gets burned, incinerated by the very thing that drew it near.
For decades now, I have played the role of the moth, lured by the flame of consumerism, pop culture’s beautiful conflagration, a firestorm of lust and greed and wanting, a haunting desire to consume that which cannot be consumed, to be fulfilled by that which can never be fulfilling. A vacant proposition, leaving me empty inside, which further fuels my desire to consume.”
― Joshua Fields Millburn, All That Remains

Although we’re often conditioned to think that material things will bring us the love and affection of our peers, in the real world, it tends not to work out that way. In your heart of hearts, can you even think of one occasion when you spent a lot of money on something and then discovered that the people in your life suddenly liked you a lot more because of it?

There’s no doubt that it’s tempting to be drawn to the lure of making an expensive purchase. (Or, really, any purchase at all.) But, when we do that, what is it that we’re really chasing, and how likely is it that buying something new will give it to us?

Jana Marie is a Croatian-born writer living amidst the restorative embrace of the Canadian Prairies.

Through her writing, she examines the interplay between self and society as she works to both illuminate and explore the power of contemplative thinking. Her recently completed two-year project, 100 Mindful Days, which combines teachings from the worlds of personal development, self-care, and wellness, will soon be her first book.

If you’d like to hear from her more often, you can subscribe to her newsletter here.

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