The Great Material Mania!

One of the strongest forces affecting our lives in the modern world is consumerism. Consumerism is the ideology that places value upon the excessive consumption of material goods and services beyond one's basic needs. An internal drive is created in an individual.

"I can imagine it; therefore, I want it. I want it; therefore, I should have it. Because I should have it, I need it. Because I need it, I deserve it. Because I deserve it, I will do anything necessary to get it."

Advertisers tap into this artificial internal drive. You are made to "imagine it" because they bombard your consciousness with its image until you move to step two, "I want it... etc." This is one of the things that allows people to surrender to consumerism...

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... The desire, greed, drive to have more of everything is going to be detrimental for the human race. The idea of "ye dil maange more" (my heart yearns for more), which is propagated through advertisement, is leading us into a downward spiral. We want more of everything- more market share, more recognition, more success, more clothes, more shoes, more bags, more sports gears, more utensils, more furniture, more cosmetics, more of fancy packaged food, more crockery, more decorative items, more watches, more gadgets, etc. Obsession for 'more' has led us to buy stuff for the immediate rush of gratification. It would not be wrong to say that we have in many ways become slaves of material possessions.

We fill our storage units, cars, homes, offices, closets, music devices, shoe racks, kitchen cupboards, smart phones, mail boxes, and computers with more than we can manage. Often people feel that more leads to happiness, but it only clutters our life and makes it complicated.

Many among us have an obsession for the word 'collection'- a collection of clothes, watches, shoes, bags, etc. Well, if you happen to see the actual stuff that you use; for example, check your wardrobe, you will realise that you actually wear only 20% of the clothes present in your wardrobe on a regular basis. Rest 80% of the clothes sit idle. Why just clothes, 80/20 principle or the Pareto principle applies to everything around you in the house. Be it your toiletries, kitchenware, gadgets, or for that matter the furniture in the house. Yet we don't have the heart to part with all the 'stuff' that we have stuffed in our houses.

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For some, the mantra is- "I shop, therefore I am." There is some kind of happiness derived out of buying new things. However, happiness accrued from buying things is fleeting. It is an illusion; we are just trying to fill in the void inside us by doing so....

It is time to get rid of the 'just in case' or the 'what if' mindset. What if I need that particular outfit in the future? What if I get rid of this gadget today; I might need it at a point in time in future! ...

What we can actually do to get rid of it? To know this in toto, read the complete article of January 2018 English Akhand Gyan monthly magazine.

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