Thursday, March 3, 2016

Consumer Mentality

Our modern culture is a disservice to most of us in my opinion. Our consumer culture that is. The health, and safety aspects of it are wonderful. We for the most part are brainwashed by advertising. We all like to think that advertising doesn't effect us, but sadly it does. We are constantly bombarded with sales pitches to buy products and services, while each individual advertisement is for a different product, the message is always the same: "Buy this and your life will be better if not perfect." Notice that the message is almost never "buy this because it's a superior product."

All this advertising builds up in our brain and we're constantly given the impression that stuff = happiness. How many of us when we have a project that needs to get done immediately start looking for the tools that we "need" for the job? Television tells us that with the right tools any job is easy, so we buy the planer, the table saws, the exhaust fans and other various tools to build a bird house. We spend thousands of dollars trying to solve imaginary problems. We've essentially out sourced all of our thinking to merchandise. We are taught that almost any activity is so complicated that we need a specialist to do the job for us. It's supposed to be a convenience thing, but how many of us spend days waiting for equipment in the mail or spend hours driving around to buy something. We usually spend the extra time we have in front of the television anyway and pine after the lives of people who don't spend their entire lives in front of the television.

There's still cost in time however. Most if not all of us work for a living. If you work for an hourly wage you sell your time. "Time saving" contraptions still usually cost you time and money just in a different way. For instance you could spend a few days earning the money to buy a decent rotary tiller for your hobby garden. However, it would only take a shovel and a couple hours to double dig the garden and you'd have those days of pay in your pocket, plus a workout. Win, win. You could also choose to work less. More time for karate. Two hours of labor could literally save you days of work.

I believe one of the larger lessons of karate is learning to adapt and solve our own problems. If you outsource all of your problems you usually gain junk. If you learn and adapt, you get the job done and you also gain a skill.