Why does it matter?
Things are the markers of identity. Our things tell the world who we are. The more money we have, the more things we can have, the more ‘whos’ we can choose to be. Our things also tell us how much we are worth. The more we have, the more we are, the more we want to be. To be more, we need more. The more we feed the need for more, the more we need, the more we feed. And since we are nothing without our stuff, we will never have enough and we will never be enough but we will keep on trying to fill the void with more and more stuff. Our insatiable appetites demanding to be fed, we will ravage Earth’s resources until we eat ourselves to death.
Even if you can’t see it yet, if you live in a consumer capitalist society, it is important to at least contemplate the possibility that this somehow gets to the ugly heart of your core beliefs about yourself and your relationship with things. And if you have children, to consider the subtle and no so subtle ways in which they might be taking on those beliefs too. While we might be able to muster the willpower to change some of our consumer behaviours, we will only be able to truly quit consumerism when we find another way to feed the very natural hunger to be felt and seen.