The true problem behind consumerism and the solution to it.
Consumerism versus happiness is a broad subject that touches every aspect of our lives. But today we’re going to reflect on consumerism and clothing and its relationship to how we perceive happiness.
Over time, different types of consumption have evolved and have gained new meanings. Everything about the shopping experience, from the store to the customer service, is designed to entice—the smell of the atmosphere, the background music, the wide smiles of the employees, the complimentary cup of tea, water, and the nice bag that holds your purchase. And that’s just 20% of everything that is done to coax you to get there.
Today, in addition to physical stores, there are online stores, and brands have adapted to this development. The online shopping experience has also created a new sensation. You access a website where you find attractive discount codes that jump out at you, vibrant colors, and chat robots ready to answer any questions that may impact your shopping experience.
I work in this area, and I know exactly how this applied mechanism works, from the colors to the experience that each person will have on the website before, during, and after their visit.
Everything is about consuming. I believe that the problem isn’t that more brands exist, that more products are being sold, or that new needs are being created. As much as this may have an influence, the real problem is the importance that each person gives to these things. In view of this, I want to ask you a few questions:
1. Why do you usually buy clothes?
2. Does it involve a feeling?
3. Does this feeling need to be renewed frequently?
4. Do you believe this separates you from your relationship with God in some way?
Remember what it says in 1 John 2:16-17? “Everything that is in the world—the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world and its cravings are passing away, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.”
It’s common knowledge that the more you buy, the less happy you will be, given that this false happiness will need to be constantly renewed causing us to lose our focus on what matters—God.
How can I change this pattern?
To avoid this pattern, we must put into practice some tips and mental prompts to consciously control our impulses. From now on, you will ask yourself five questions before buying an article of clothing. If the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’, then continue with the purchase.
- Do I really need to buy this piece of clothing right now?
- Is this item in accordance with who I am (my personal style/beliefs/my message)?
- Am I able to pay for it right now?
- Will this article of clothing be something new in my closet? (Or do I already have five of the same piece?)
- Does this outfit match with at least three other pieces of clothing that I already have?
Upon answering these questions, you will pause the impulse trigger and awaken the rational side of the brain, which will help you make decisions with more clarity. This is how you can become a conscious consumer.
Finally, I want to tell you that nothing deserves to be put in God’s place. Not clothing, not food, not experiences, NOTHING! He is the only one who can offer us TRUE happiness. A constant relationship with Him will help us give true meaning to things. God is the exception: the more you consume of Him, the happier you will be.
1 John 2:1 “but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Amen!