“When all your money’s gone, where will you be? If your love is strong, that’s all you need.” ~Slightly Stoopid
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the consumer culture here in the United States. In a society that is plagued with a “buy-more” perspective, or the idea that until we “make it” that we are somebody–it’s easy for us to forget the simplicity and inexpensiveness of joy.
The typical paradigm presented to us from the tv screens and magazines looks something like this: get good grades, get a degree in something that pays well, then go get you a fancy house, spouse and kids, and you’ve got it made. In other words, this is the American Dream.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. I know a few people that like the American Dream, and that’s great, it works for them. But for several people I know, including myself, times are changing.
More people are realizing that money doesn’t necessarily create happiness (although it can be an excellent tool if used productively), and are backing away from this paradigm. More people want to start from scratch and be creative all by themselves without the help of higher education.
If the world would end tomorrow, and the economic collapse hit us, then who would be as people? Where would our identities go? Money may no longer buy our survival necessities or the pleasures of life like clothes, material belongings, or fancy cars.
We would have to find a new way of life–something that’s been with us all along, but is often hidden under the illusion of what we believe joy is. Without the need for social status at a crucial time in our evolution, something else would have to take place. The heart would be the only thing left, and as humans we’d have nothing better to do than to work towards connection without the distraction of our egos.
And of course, it could take the opposite turn where the heart reverses and decides to steal or hurt from others during such a desperate time. But I prefer to stay hopeful and trust in a higher power, and to remember that we are extensions of that higher power, each holding a responsibility to make the world a better place.
Let the heart become who we are once again. Let us balance our egos enough to enjoy the pleasures of life, but not get lost in them.