Against Consumerism

Life isn’t about the things that you buy, it’s about the experiences that you have, the character you build for yourself, what you can learn about our world, and the mark you can leave behind.

This is a stream of consciousness exercise. Let’s see what comes out. Don’t expect anything earth-shattering, here.

Six random words: frightening, cows, consumption, coma, cybernetic, flytrap.

frightening

Frightening… hmm. I suppose I’m not a person that frightens easily, but if I had to choose it’d be instability. I really like order and dependability. I fear things like losing my job, or my husband losing his job. Losing our financial security, not being able to afford basic things. However, my fear has kept my behavior in check, and because I’ve been sensible with my time, money, and skills, I have less to fear the longer I go on.

I also fear irrelevancy. I want to be liked by my peers. I want to stay current and “in the know”. I feel like older people look down on the younger generation with a baffled look on their face and they wonder “what the FUCK?” and they just don’t understand because kids behaviors seem so weird and foreign. I don’t want to be like that. When I am old, I want to understand the younger generation, relate to what they’re experiencing without seeming like a “know it all”. I want to relate without dismissing their experiences because of their youth. Like a kid’s first heartbreak may seem insignificant to an older adult because they’ve really felt the full dimension of relationships, but for a young person, it’s their first foray into trying to build a deep bond and yeah, that first one can hurt the most. I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky though. I have had the minor teenage heartbreak, but I’ve never had a relationship that was so toxic that it left me scarred for my whole life.

cows

Once I was at a rural county fair and I was wandering in and out of the animal barns. In the cow barn, right in the front was a baby cow, and I think they named him Joey. He was very cute, and if you tried to pet him, he’d lick your fingers, and I remember how weird that felt. It occurred to me that my fingers probably looked like his mother’s udder and he was a little confused why nothing was coming out!

consumption

I was just talking to my husband about this last night. I am an extremely sensible person when it comes to finances, and I have a lot of practice denying basically any “want” or even some “needs” that I have. Trivial consumption is just not a thing that I do. Here we are and we’re about to hit a financial milestone, and he’s made me promise that we will do something fun with our money to celebrate. Rationally, I know that this is good for me, and that I’ve earned it, but man it’s still super hard not to feel guilty about it!

I am so good at self-denial that I am almost morally opposed to excessive consumption. I hate advertisements, I hate it when people brag about some expensive thing they just bought, as if it makes them more important somehow. Life isn’t about the things that you buy, it’s about the experiences that you have, the character you build for yourself, what you can learn about our world, and the mark you can leave behind. When you die, other people have to deal with your shit, and they don’t want to do that.

coma

I don’t know any stories to go with this, I’ve never known anyone that was in a coma before. Maybe it happens a lot more in medical dramas on tv.

How about a metaphorical coma? If a coma is like an permanent state of unconsciousness, I suppose a metaphorical coma is a permanent state of denial, when people refuse to see reality. I think there are very few people who in a 100% state of reality, because otherwise, how could you possibly live? Religious folks come to mind, but even they have some sense, even if they do believe in god. I don’t really hold anything against believers, I think that they’re just a bit misguided, or maybe don’t want to put the work into really trying to figure out life for themselves. I mean, I get it, it’s scary to consider a world where there is no higher purpose, and there is no afterlife, but if you just face it and come to terms with it, it has the affect of making life that much sweeter.

cybernetic

Hmm. I had to look this one up. “the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.” so… it’s basically like robotics, and can lead to artificial intelligence, maybe? I really don’t know much about either. AI is a popular area of philosophical discussion right now, and to hear people talk, it seems like we could create an fully aware digital lifeform within my lifetime. I have no idea if we really are that close to it or not. …and what will be the effect? I confess complete ignorance, and as a result, but lack of knowledge instills in me a general sense of dread and fear of it. I am no better than my ancestors–the ones that feared medicine women and accused them of witchcraft. They didn’t understand how the medicine worked, blamed it on magic and the supernatural, and then promptly burned them at the stake. AI still feels a little scary to me yet. I’ll need to read more and hopefully understand better and be less afraid.

flytrap

…text…

Well I wrote a bunch, and it took me at least two separate sittings, and I’m tired now. Signing off.

Image Source: Pixabay

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