I was at Bed Bath and Beyond not too long ago when I saw a person viciously cut in front of me, only to purchase $250 worth of what had to be the most insanely useless items I've ever seen.
What's crazy is that they weren't unusual items, they were very normal items purchased by people every day that are under the assumption that they need to have these things in order to carry on. They were "basic necessities" for this person, and they had actually made the trip in their car to this crowded store to come and purchase these things.
How does this happen? I will begin to unravel this answer to my best ability below.
Businesses all around the world profit from you feeling empty unless you continue to buy their product. Their product will get you closer to feeling complete as a person. Happy. Content. This is the best advertising tactic- you are almost pretty enough to go outside if you just had our makeup, you will just fit in if you wear our bell bottoms.
But this is not the case at all. Anything that you spend money on will not complete you. In fact, I heard once that richness is not defined by how much you have but how little you need...
So you feel like you have a real-world, tangible example to go off of, I'll use myself as an example. In high school I got my hair highlighted for $150 regularly at Gene Juarez (one time they used the wrong color highlight and I cried in the bathroom for an hour before realizing they could just kill my hair a different color). I also went shopping. A lot. I had dreams about hallways of bell bottoms before I had my first pair, and I used to find happiness in imagining myself in new clothes. Why? Because it was almost like imagining a new and improved version of myself... at the quick, fast price of $29.99! It was an easy improvement without having to use any patience, dedication or make really tough decisions about who I was as a person and what I really wanted out of life.
Now I'm two steps away from not buying toilet paper. Ok, no, not that far (although I would recommend Seventh Generation for more sustainable toilet paper). But I've cut out almost everything in my life. Someone once visited my home and asked, "did you just move in?" Not because it doesn't have character or feels cold, but because I chose, and continue to choose, not to clutter my life with things that I don't find to be incredibly inspiring and thus helpful to my main life's purpose.
I challenge you to take a long, hard look at what you want out of life. What you would do (after all the partying and traveling and hanging out was out of your system) if you only had 3 years left. Would you care about face cream or looking older or the size of thighs or how much you impressed your friends with your new gadget from Best Buy? I bet not. The more we acknowledge the realism of death and the importance of our individual life's purpose on this planet, the more we can begin to filter out the advertising agencies push of their shallow agendas on to ours. Think about this before you buy your next item.