So, I've been reading alot of Adbusters lately, as well as a book by John Piper called "Don't Waste your Life"; so those are some of my immediate influences for my thoughts lately about consumerism and life. But mainly I'm becoming increasingly convinced that our society and our economy and our media have developed and shaped an entire cultural system bent on "stuff". Getting stuff, selling stuff, buying stuff, owning stuff. Stuff is marketed as the answer to any problem. Stuff is style, stuff is comfort, stuff is spirituality. Owning things is important, not just to your comfort, but to your status as a human being. Lets face it, people who don't own things, who live on the street or in shelters are considered "lesser": they haven't got their lives together enought to have a house and fill it with stuff. Ownership and the power of being able to buy and sell things is becoming the most defining feature of North American society: did you know you can buy and sell your 'friends' on Facebook? Now, thanks to such fantastic 'social applications' as Frends For Sale, you can put an actual dollar amount on the value of a human being, "own" that person and then raise or lower their value depending on when you put them on sale (all with virtual money). Wow.
If this is not a huge warning signal on how sickly obsessed the world has become with money, consumerism and junk, I don't know what is. We are so obsessed and addicted to our stuff that economists, world leaders and corporations are refusing to recognize the destructive impact of our spending on the environment: modern economic theory takes almost no account of 'externalities', or the fact that the world is not an endless source of raw ecological resources.
What will your life count for? At the end will you be able to put your most important things into boxes or into beautiful memories? Will your heart be set on comfort and style, or justice and truth?
Enough is enough; no more stuff. Or as a truly radical man once said "If you want to give it all you've got, go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow Me." It's the only way to break the addiction.