Tag Archive - Simple Living

Diagnosing TBA: The BUY Addiction

We buy stuff all the time. Some people have to buy something every single day, if not an item then at least a cup of coffee! They’re not living if they’re not entering into a store and spending some money.
 
Exercise: Count how many days a week go without buying anything, anywhere. If you buy something almost every day, or can’t go out without buying something, then you know you’re dealing with TBA!
 
Don’t you think that I am immune to that! Hey, if I write about some problem, it’s likely that I do or did experience it at some point!
 
Buying addiction is a serious problem in richer societies. It disturbs our inner balance as individuals as well as our global balance as a human community sharing one Earth.
 
We can see this global imbalance manifest in different ways:
 
1. Waste and surplus for some, starvation for many.
  
The rich societies that consume most of the resources contribute to a moral imbalance, which is a manifestation of injustice and selfishness. When food and cloths are thrown away in one part of the world, while hundreds of millions of humans can hardly eat, dress and find adequate shelter, something is grossly wrong.
 
Humans are meant to be one family with acceptable variations in wealth, but with a universal standard of dignity and availability of human needs for all, which our Earth naturally provides, if it wasn’t for the shameful greed and selfishness of some.
 
2. In order to buy more and cheap, the poor have to accept labor slavery.
  
Because money seems to be the God of an overwhelming number of businesses, they don’t see a problem meeting the needs of buyers for more and cheap by moving to poor countries where they can have labor camps. Humans who work most of their waking hours, in very poor conditions, for a pay that will barely help them survive. This imbalance is simply expressed in the fact that a worker could be paid in a week what we spend on a lunch for one!
 
All for the sake of us going into the store and buying a gadget that we might not use and didn’t need in the first place, or for us to be able to buy 5 t-shirts instead of just one. Wow, what a progress, we can have all those t-shirts and shoes in all the different colors. Boy hadn’t our life become much better with that!!!
 
3. More of the things that we don’t need end up creating mountains of toxic trash, and heavily polluted Earth.
  
Because people buy things they don’t need, they end up getting rid of them. In the worse manner possible: throwing them in the trash. Our addiction to keep buying stuff that we don’t need lead to factories producing more unnecessary stuff. Because they want to make them cheap, they use toxic material that will keep the cost low. Then this satanic cycle end with landfills full of toxic waste that no one really knows why it was even created to start with.
 
We lost, the buyers. We lost money and inner peace. They lost, the workers. They lost their life and energy to the factories. It lost, our Earth, and our future. It became full of toxic waste. The only ones who gained are the businesses, only a minority. Are those guys worth all those losses and suffering?!!

Heavy possessions!

A much needed simple living movement has been growing. People living in rich Western societies starting to realize that having more things didn’t make them any happier. Not only it didn’t make them happier, it actually decreased the quality of our life. The more stuff we have, the more stress we feel. Shopping became a new form of a distraction drug. We buy stuff in a state of half awareness, and we wake up to find more things that clutter our life and we don’t know why we bought them in the first place.

One saying of Prophet Muhammad keeps coming back to my mind, brief and to the point of this human misery. It’s hard to render it in English and keep it’s original brief power, but he simply said that having less stuff that gives us what we need is better than having much stuff that ends up distracting us.
 
The truth is, we feel more fulfilled with less, clear things. Once things increase in number, we start to loose control and loose track. We start actually loosing them. A place in our heart will keep worrying about those rarely used items. Our heart knows better. May be it worries how our world is going wrong, when we have things that we don’t use, while other humans are in dire need of those same things. We fill our plate at this open buffet, but we never get to finish it all. The food goes to the trash. Trash full of food in one place; human stomachs empty of food in another. That’s an insane paradox, totally unhuman.
  
If we really want to enjoy things, we actually need to have less of them. That’s a proven fact. Some experiments found that children given too many toys to choose from lost interest and were lost and bored, while those given a fewer number were engaged and satisfied. I don’t mean we don’t have nice things. In fact, since we will buy less stuff, we can then invest in the ones that we really, really like and enjoy. We get less, higher quality stuff. Every piece will matter to us, and will have a place in our heart.
Page 2 of 2«12