A few weeks back I was at an appointment waiting to be called next. I looked to my left and saw a newspaper – the Wall Street Journal. As I flipped through it something caught my eye. It was an image of a man and a woman totally enthralled with one another in a blissful state. The man was reclining on a cloud made of stuff; tennis rackets, wine glasses, classical instruments, elegant accessories, overnight case, golf clubs, champagne flutes, skis, etc. The advertisement had two tag-lines: Element of Well-being / For a Better You.
My immediate reaction was a long sigh. Was the viewer supposed to think that this cloud of materialistic stuff and a vacation stay in a hotel would bring them bliss? I feel so tired of the marketing that is pushed down people’s throats. All day every day everywhere we look, we are being marketed to. The idea of “this thing” or “this look” or “this place” is what you need to feel great, to feel happy, to feel whole. Most of us know that none of those things bring lasting happiness, yet we are sold that idea over & over again – and we buy it!
Everyone talks about a vacation or a lifestyle that they desire. Most of us hate some part of the way we look as well, comparing ourselves to others and feeling like some aspect of ourselves is inadequate. Or it can be the other way around, we think that the way someone else looks or lives isn’t good enough for us. Who taught us that? Where did we get our standards from? What did we pattern ourselves and our lives after? Why is it that our life is the way it is? Did we freely & fully create it? Or did we allow society to greatly influence our decisions and our views?
If you lived alone on an island, would you be worrying about the same things you desire or stress about today? Would you want the same job you currently have? Take a close look at your life & ask yourself, “If I lived alone and I never or rarely saw people, what would I be passionate about, what would matter most to me? What would my life be about and look like?”
Would you need a vacation? Would you be working as hard as you do? What would matter most to you? More stuff? Faster car? Bigger income? Smoother skin? Second home? An academic degree? …Or something freely available and priceless, like love? I think we could say that love would be the most important thing. Yet we don’t see that, choose that, or act like that in our day-to-day lives. We don’t seem to make that our dream, our goal, or our number one priority on a daily basis. And trust me, every money-driven corporation and business wants to keep it that way.
[Today's blog post was written and posted back in August 2011.]