images1It’s not news that we live in a culture dedicated to fashion.  Style over substance – sizzle instead of steak; all very superficial and drained of importance.  The focus is on what is visible when the only things of true value are invisible.

Western materialist consumerism, and its concomitant ideologies of the superiority of the new and the rejection of the old are getting to be pretty old hat.

It may have never been said before that when you remove the invisible qualities from any element of life, it loses all meaning, eroding into a degraded game of “chasing the buck.”  Why the deterioration to an all-pervasive, vapid, lifeless obsession chasing something that is only worth the value we assign to it anyway?  While there is nothing wrong with having a few bucks when the whole society is fixated on the subject, why make it your life’s ambition?  What’s that all about anyway?  What are you trying to prove?  To whom?money-100s3

Money motivated people are weak and shallow.  All they think about and talk about is money – how to get it, how to keep it, how to make more of it.  They’re boring.  What’s more they can be made to give up things of value like their time and attention for themselves or their family, in exchange for a few more bucks.  Give them enough money and they’ll do practically anything.

The elements of any true value are not visible to the naked eye, only the physical manifestations of these things are.  Things like, love, wisdom, communication,  friendship, trust, honesty, ethics, awareness,  affinity, affection, agreement, honor, integrity, freedom, attention, help, reason, competence, sanity, goals, purposes, ideals, and many more – these are the elements of life that are vitally important and in fact, are priceless.  They can’t be bought and they can’t be sold.  The minute you assign a monetary value to any of the above things, they are eroded away from their innate purity.

dead-poets-societyThis quote from the movie, “Dead Poets Society” says it best:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.  We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.  And the human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” – John Keating (Robin Williams) in the movie.

If you’re focusing only on sustaining life you’re not living.  You’re spending your most valuable resources – your time, attention, energy – on meaningless trinkets and baubles, shiny but trivial.

Our current culture specializes on sucking the marrow out of our lives and filling us with even more advertising to buy more things so that we can keep our consumeristic culture afloat for a few more years.  “Create Want” was the mantra started by economist John Maynard Keynes many decades ago.  He’s the one who provided the intellectual basis upon which our current economy is based.  His untested economic theory that also is at the root of the financial erosion and decay of our country.  And we bought into it as of course, no one had to convince us to “want more” did they?  So with our willing (if unknowing) consent we are surrounded and smothered by materialistic web of stuff of every imaginable kind.

Stuff! Everywhere!  We’re drowning in a quicksand of stuff. And the minute we decide we’ve had enough, some bright bulb in the marketing department comes up with some new idea of how to convince us we MUST HAVE more stuff.  It’s crazy.  But we do it anyway because we’re hooked.  We’re addicted to stuff.  Yes, we’ve all tried to kick the habit over and over again, but it’s more addictive than cigarettes, drugs or porn. This shit is bad man!  Consumerism grabs you and gets it’s hooks in and you’re trapped!

Pretty soon, all you’re thinking about is things, and more things.  Your life is over.  Your most valuable resources wasted and gone.  Your most treasured people, friends, relatives, groups, all wasted because your work comes first.  Why?  You haven’t figured out that you’ve got a habit, a vicious, highly addictive case of “THE WANTS.”  And it’s robbing your life of all meaning of all substance, substituting a valueless shadow of what your life used to be.

You need a “life intervention” to get you off that addiction and get your attention back on to what is really valuable: the invisible things in life.  Take a look around you and estimate how much time and attention you put on things and acquiring more things.  It’s scary.

wakeup-call1It’s time to WAKE UP!

Get back to a structure in your life that makes sense.  Your priorities are totally out of whack.  Maybe you need a “whack on the side of the head” to wake you up and get you back in the drivers seat.  You’ve been asleep too long at the wheel.  It’s time to knock it off.

If you’re the “executive in charge of your life” then stop acting as if you’re hypnotized like the walking dead, and start acting like it.  No one is going to do it for you.

This your wake up call.  You’re welcome.

daniel w. jacobs
(c) 2009-2020, all rights reserved

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