I was walking past a dry-cleaner store yesterday and I pass by this store everyday to get to my yoga studio. They have a sign outside their door now – Fluff Your Canada Goose Here. I saw that sign about 10 times before it started provoking some thought. I have a goose-down jacket for the winter, and a goose-down quilt to sleep with. They are both really old, and haven’t been washed since I started using them – about 3 years. Suddenly, this person is offering me a chance to fluff them. Ah, salvation!
Then I thought about it for a second or two, and I realized this is the reason why the habit of consumerism is so freaking hard to get rid of. Because they are inside our heads. It is hard to get rid of them, when they are speaking to you from inside of you. A week ago, I didn’t even know you could fluff the goose-down products in your home, and now I have a long list of items I want to fluff. By the way, aren’t feathers already fluffy? Why do they need to be fluffed? Mysteries that only a drycleaner would know.
According to a study that they did on children, pre-schoolers are already affected by advertising and have brands that they are loyal to and recognize. No wonder by the time we are in our twenties, the consumerism culture is so ingrained in us, that even the thought of repairing something is abhorrent. Why would you sow a little tear in this item when you could purchase a whole new piece?
In addition, there are thousands of new products that are being invented all the time – that are just ready to help you with any ‘problem’ that you might have. Even problems that you didn’t realize you had a week ago, or a few months ago. You cannot walk on a metropolitan street without being marauded by a hundred signs offering everything from weight loss to psychics to lasers on your pens. With the hundreds of products on instant order from China, at the tip of your fingers, why would it even matter if you do not have hundreds of dollars to spare? Most of these items are just $3 or less.
The point, of course, is reducing this need to purchase without need. You need food, you need to buy food. You need water, heat, a home, some clothes, and shoes, and that is all. The rest is all peripheral. You have to analyze your needs list carefully and notice if certain wants have creeped into the needs section and are camouflaging themselves in your eyes.