Fighting Against Consumerism
2013级 医学部 曹哲韡
In our daily life, many of us rashly purchase better cell phones, cars, designer clothes, etc. Rather than exploring the maximum usability of what we already have, we discard them and replace them with new ones, drowning ourselves in the self-deception that more purchases create more satisfaction.
However, while many of us are trapped on the never-ending treadmill of onsumption, an American couple, took drastic action and committed to no nonessential purchases for a whole year. And their plan was carried out so smoothly that their kids didn’t even realize they were part of their parents’ bold attempt.
The couple said that saving money was not their greatest benefit in the experiment; a closer family bond was. By spending less time on shopping, they gained more time to enjoy precious moments as a loving family: going to the park; playing together; chatting over dinner. In this process, they learned that meaningful living is about moving our focus away from aspiring material wealth towards valuing more the memorable experiences we can share with our loved ones.
Inspired by this couple’s story, I checked my Taobao shopping cart. Staring at a mountain of items, I asked myself this: “What will my life be without them?” One by one items left my shopping cart, leaving the one item I truly needed.
If less time is spent on meaningless purchases, we will gain more cherished moments with our loved ones; if less focus is on fleeting materials on the outside, we will gain more spiritual wealth inside, and if less energy is wasted in pursuit of the superficial dreams in commercials, we just might find our relationship with others, more sincere and more supportive.
Fighting consumerism can make better use of our time and our life, and better achieve our heart’s true desires.