I first thought to call this post “The Big Lie” rather than “A Very Big Lie”, but then realized “THE” might suggest the biggest lie ever. It’s maybe not the biggest one in our society, but it certainly is A Very Big Lie. What, you might ask, is it?
That our stuff will make us happy.
And if we buy into that lie, then by extrapolation, new (bigger, better) things will make us even happier. Hence we have the mania called Black Friday. It’s the day (weekend, week, will it soon be a month?) when people choose to hugely buy into their egos, unleash their obsession with stuff, and are even willing to go into debt and stampede their neighbor to save a buck.
Have you ever asked yourself why it is called BLACK Friday? The original reason is apparently that it is the first day in the calendar year when retail stores go into the black – as in, out of the red and making a profit.
The ravenous black monster
I would argue that it’s aptly called black because it reveals the shadow, the dark side, the void that lives within “the collective us.” Because here’s the truth. If we truly felt we were enough without our stuff, there would not be a marketing genius powerful enough to make us behave this way.
To cut ourselves some slack in this, the bankers and corporations have devised this snare to produce more consumers – of things and debt. They make money on us, and a lot of it. We are products of societal programming. And it’s insidious, you know. It sneaks up on us, and even when we (as individuals) think we have it beat, it can still come ’round again to bite us. I have observed this in myself; it’s a hard habit to beat.
On top of all that, not only are we drowning in too much useless stuff, our Earth is now drowning in it too. Because another truth is, we tire of our stuff pretty quickly. The reason? Because that void is a ravenous monster, and there simply is not enough stuff to fill it.
Filling the void is not the answer. We need to vanquish and heal it.
We don’t just hurt ourselves – We hurt the Earth too!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. What could be more more of a vivid truth than the piles of garbage on our oceans, and on our beaches? Stuff we got tired of, and threw away so we could go out and buy “a new one”. It’s tangible proof not only of our collective void, but, our disrespect for the Earth as well.
There’s still time to turn this around. But to do that, I believe we need a complete re-evaluation, not just of the value systems of our society, but if we are honest, also of ourselves.
If you are worried about our Earth and environment (I am), and your personal power to effect change, here is a positive Black Friday takeaway that I found posted on Facebook this weekend:
“Less is more. The greenest thing you can do is consume less.”
Photos courtesy Lucien Wanda and Bruce Mars, Pexels
A Very Big Lie | Our Stuff © Susan L Hart 2019 | Hart Haiku