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Old 12-26-2010, 06:30 PM
 
Location: So Cal
38,764 posts, read 37,938,490 times
Reputation: 39596

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I've been doing some thinking. With all of the hoopla centered around the holidays and gift buying and all that got me to thinking.

It seems like to me American culture seems to be a little too heavy on the consumerism. It's not just the holidays. Look around, instant everything, no waiting, no saving for things, instant credit, instant gratification.

Ipods, crackberries, electronics, cars, homes, just everything imaginable, granted some of that has slowed down as the economies got a lot of people scaling back, others losing jobs.

The point I'm trying to make is that in a lot of Eropean countries, it seems like materialism isn't as prevalent. They don't seem like they work as hard as we do here in America. I thought I read that France has a 35 hr work week and its common for people to have 6 weeks vacation. That doesn't seem to be the same here. We work and work and work.

But for what???

McMansion's??

Toys, cars, other useless crap?

What I wonder is about working not as hard, but enjoying more free time, granted also giving up some of the luxuries.

I read somewhere that on people's death beds the things that they wished for were more "experiences" which I assume meant more free time away from work.

I personally want more free time. More "experiences" more fun.

More life.........
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,751 posts, read 26,785,531 times
Reputation: 79019
People generally do things (working) for their families and making their lives easier and better, we work for them.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,480 posts, read 20,016,951 times
Reputation: 22417
I only invest in that which I can take with me to my grave: experiences.

No suitcase needed.

The greatest returns I've received on my investments have been travel, concerts, theatre plays, movies, doing something to make someone else happier.

We all want the happiest of deaths. Get busy and have one some day!
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:49 PM
 
7,508 posts, read 3,595,944 times
Reputation: 3885
Ok, you caught me. I'm trying really hard not to get caught up with everything. *edit* I feel like I'm slowly getting there, especially the fashion industry.
I'm taming myself, really.

But you are one heck of a guy to think such things. Most people wouldn't give a second thought about it.

Last edited by ho hey!; 12-26-2010 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:59 PM
 
25,084 posts, read 13,915,835 times
Reputation: 41737
I feel u Chow. I wonder if this country will eventually destroy itself with moral decline and emphasis on materialism rather than humanitarianism. We are not just suffering from consumerism and commercialism. We are obsessed with how it looks than anything else. We value Professional athletes and models over all children, teachers and quality education for the masses. People invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to look good on the outside when in reality it is a futile extravagance. Old age and or death comes for the "beautiful people" just like the ordinary. I have some experience with people at end of life and the one constant I have observed is in the end people tend to have concern over their contributions to their families and humanity. The stuff just doesn't matter then.

There is more to life than consuming and I think we all have this sense on some level. We all know there is something more to life whether we are able to articulate it or not. It is sometimes very illusive, but I think we all feel it in different ways and share a great concern. However, the demands of life, living and survival supersede the will of the collective to slow down and live life on a smaller materialistic scale.

I think we do need to get back to the fundamental ideals such as practicing good toward our fellows and perfecting values such as honor, integrity and respect for both humanity and the environment. We can't continue to consume without replenishing... Just as we can't keep accumulating things without becoming better people- we must collectively as a country change our agenda from the doctrine of "more" (mo-money, mo-power, mo-stuff and mo-prestige) to one of preservation and sustainability, if we are ever to resolve consumerism and the commercialism.

I am not naive,but I have hope IF we can learn to value one another based on the content of one's character rather than things like athletic ability, physical attractiveness or possession of "BLING-BLING" then we will "rise and live out our creed" and not our greed.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:16 PM
 
Location: So Cal
38,764 posts, read 37,938,490 times
Reputation: 39596
Quote:
Originally Posted by sun queen View Post
I feel u Chow. I wonder if this country will eventually destroy itself with moral decline and emphasis on materialism rather than humanitarianism. We are not just suffering from consumerism and commercialism. We are obsessed with how it looks than anything else. We value Professional athletes and models over all children, teachers and quality education for the masses. People invest thousands upon thousands of dollars to look good on the outside when in reality it is a futile extravagance. Old age and or death comes for the "beautiful people" just like the ordinary. I have some experience with people at end of life and the one constant I have observed is in the end people tend to have concern over their contributions to their families and humanity. The stuff just doesn't matter then.

There is more to life than consuming and I think we all have this sense on some level. We all know there is something more to life whether we are able to articulate it or not. It is sometimes very illusive, but I think we all feel it in different ways and share a great concern. However, the demands of life, living and survival supersede the will of the collective to slow down and live life on a smaller materialistic scale.

I think we do need to get back to the fundamental ideals such as practicing good toward our fellows and perfecting values such as honor, integrity and respect for both humanity and the environment. We can't continue to consume without replenishing... Just as we can't keep accumulating things without becoming better people- we must collectively as a country change our agenda from the doctrine of "more" (mo-money, mo-power, mo-stuff and mo-prestige) to one of preservation and sustainability, if we are ever to resolve consumerism and the commercialism.

I am not naive,but I have hope IF we can learn to value one another based on the content of one's character rather than things like athletic ability, physical attractiveness or possession of "BLING-BLING" then we will "rise and live out our creed" and not our greed.
You articulated that nicely, which is what I was getting at, but fumbled about trying to get there....


Good post, as you usually do.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:20 PM
 
11,672 posts, read 13,879,787 times
Reputation: 19019
I don't indulge in material things much at all. I live very basic.

If I could find a job that would let me work only 35hrs a week, I most certainly would (and could).
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:17 AM
 
1,496 posts, read 2,080,761 times
Reputation: 747
what is the root of these ? Yes, it is money, if you have enough money, all of these are not problems
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Orlando, Florida
43,858 posts, read 43,573,829 times
Reputation: 58603
I won't bring religion into this since it isn't the appropriate forum, but I think it is always important to pin point the reason we want so many things. Usually, it stems from pride. The almost uncontrollable need to have 'stuff' so other people think we are special and successful.

If each one of us would live our life with only the stuff we would need to be comfortable if living on a island or somewhere more rural with other people who only had the stuff they need to be comfortable with...thus ending the 'stuff' game.....then we would all be happier.

We could actually wake up each day being only concerned with enjoying that day, working only enough to provide for that day, and having enough energy left to smile at others.

Sounds like a real plan until we leave our house this morning looking at people with less of a car, less of a home and less fashionable clothes......and feel all special about ourselves because we have more. When the truth is, that thought within itself, proves we are only motivated by pride. We are not free to only love and laugh because the pride game has stolen our hearts.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
29,751 posts, read 26,785,531 times
Reputation: 79019
Lightbulb Contentment & happy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
I've been doing some thinking. With all of the hoopla centered around the holidays and gift buying and all that got me to thinking.

It seems like to me American culture seems to be a little too heavy on the consumerism. It's not just the holidays. Look around, instant everything, no waiting, no saving for things, instant credit, instant gratification.

Ipods, crackberries, electronics, cars, homes, just everything imaginable, granted some of that has slowed down as the economies got a lot of people scaling back, others losing jobs.

The point I'm trying to make is that in a lot of Eropean countries, it seems like materialism isn't as prevalent. They don't seem like they work as hard as we do here in America. I thought I read that France has a 35 hr work week and its common for people to have 6 weeks vacation. That doesn't seem to be the same here. We work and work and work.

But for what???

McMansion's??

Toys, cars, other useless crap?

What I wonder is about working not as hard, but enjoying more free time, granted also giving up some of the luxuries.

I read somewhere that on people's death beds the things that they wished for were more "experiences" which I assume meant more free time away from work.

I personally want more free time. More "experiences" more fun.

More life.........
It sounds like living a life of contentment, contentment in working, doing, having, health, personal time, a life style of comfort, etc etc etc. Here’s a list of countries that seem to have found what most of us would want ~ contentment.


Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Canada, ~ U.S. down at #14 on the list

Top 10 happiest countries in the world | Financial Jesus

Table: The World's Happiest Countries - Forbes.com

.
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