The Consumption Game

I was thinking about life recently and some questions came to mind that have me questioning life in general. What do we seek most in life? Why do we buy what we buy? What comes to mind when we think about ourselves and our lives?

I know I am going deep here today but these thoughts have taken up most of my mind lately. Why do we buy the items we buy? What makes us want to purchase one item over another? If we don’t have it, what will happen? I am embarrassed by the amount of items that have recently been bagged up and sent to the resale. This realization that the money, time and energy I once spent shopping for items that are now worthless to me, are now being shipped away.

Away. Isn’t that a funny thought we have. We think that once we are done with an item we take it somewhere else and call it “away.” We throw things away daily, we bag up items to send them away, and yet we rarely think of away as a place. What we need to understand is that things never really go “away.” The amount of items in the world that we can own must go somewhere when we are finished with them. I didn’t begin my minimalism journey with the thought of being greener some way. It really has never been something I gave much thought to. As I allowed myself to think on this idea I realized that every item we consume or purchase will one day go to the place we call away. What must that place look like? How does that really affect our world?

We all know what consumerism is, but rarely have we heard of compulsory consumption. What is compulsory consumption? It is as Joshua Fields Millburn from “MINIMALISM a Documentary About The Important Things” puts it “what you’re supposed to do, what advertising tells you to do, the magic template for what happiness is.” Compulsory Consumption is buying things because you have been told to buy them. It’s walking into a store and seeing ads geared toward items you need. Whether those items are on the mannequins closest to the walkways, on the end caps, or hanging from the ceilings. We are constantly told we need more. If we just have more stuff, we will live the ultimate American dream.

Think for yourself. What if you chose to not listen to what the consumerist world is telling you, you need? What if we answered our own calling for our lives. What kind of life would we be living. If you are struggling to know what to ask yourself and how to get started on your own journey here are some questions.

  1. What do you buy the most? Why?
  2. How do you purchase your items?
  3. If you could live life your way, how would you live?
  4. Do you care about being trendy?
  5. When you purchase an item, is it because you need it,or because you have been told you need it?

I would love to read your answers and answer any questions you may have to further your understanding of living simply.


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