One of the most stressful material burdens we place on ourselves is all the stuff that comes along with success. For me, each pay increase was correlated with an increase in spending. I felt I needed to spend more on goods and services -- dog walkers, food delivery, house cleaning -- to accommodate my ever-more-demanding lifestyle.
While the fantasy surrounding Santa can be a magical experience for a child, how to deal with the consequences of explaining "how a man with infinite resources has left you with less than your peers" can become complicated and send out the wrong message about the child's worth if Santa's yearly rewards don't add up to those of their elementary counterparts.
We're living in an age where everyone with an Internet connection has the ability to become a journalist; to write his or her own critique of a product or service. And if they lack diction or the ability to disseminate their ideas into the digital realm, they can easily connect with someone who can help them articulate, package and market their thoughts.
The world is changing and so is the way we shop: boutiques have closed up and wholesale business for the most part has dropped significantly over the past few years. A new breed of entrepreneurs are cropping up, and they want to do it differently. They're going direct to the customer, cutting out the middleman, and building lean and mean vertical enterprises.
While we might think that the dangers we face come in the form of nuclear proliferation, rampant war-mongering, easy access to weapons, global warming and global financial collapse, we'd be wrong. While all the above are dangerous, to be sure, they're just symptoms of the real dangers we face. The real and growing dangers that immanently threaten our survival are tenfold.
We've all seen those parents in the checkout lines, bribing toddlers with disposable toys for a moment of silent reprieve. Admittedly, we've both made friends with a florist to make up for missed birthdays and forgotten anniversaries. Each of us harbours a bit of consumer guilt. You buy things, you give things. For an instant, all is forgiven. But there is meaning beyond the material. Here's how you can shop without the high.
Why does our economic system place a higher value on disposable and often unnecessary goods than on the things like clean air and productive soil? Sure, there's some contradiction in protesters carrying iPhones while railing against the consumer system. But this is not just about making personal sacrifices