Sunday, February 05, 2006

Cathedral of the Consumer, Mecca of Materialism, Synagogue of Stuff, The mall

A post by Adam

Shopping, shopping, shopping, it is the thing to do in our societies and in this stage in our civilization is has become a pastime. Walking through a mall today I had to wonder ‘what are all these people looking for?’ Some of them I am sure many are just looking browsing seeing if there is anything they would like.

I like stuff, I will admit and I am sure you can see from my other posts that I think stuff is good, fun and I have grown up and lived my entire existence in a materialistic society it has only been in recent months that I have even questioned my way of life. I care about the world and people in other countries but I never understood what it means for me to change how I live to have an effect on them, my fiancée and I have a sponsor child and give to church and campus crusade but we like stuff. We are getting married in a few months and we are doing a lot of shopping and registering so that people can give us gifts to celebrate our wedding, and so that we can set up our new home together.

The mall is the place to get all kinds of stuff, but most off all it is a place for fashion, style and entertainment. I worked in a clothing store for a year, it is a very different world, superficiality rules and it is all about the clothes and what you are wearing. Some people would ask us when new stuff would come in just so that they could be the first to have it. Some people came to the mall extremely regularly.

Shopping is the service, buying is the sacrament and what you take home is the blessing. Are we so materialistic? Do we need to shop so much? I am waking to the knowledge that our society is ruled by stuff, distractions rule over our lives. I can’t even imagine what life was like before the modern era. What did people do with their time? I am sure they worked long and hard, spoke to each other, played games, had a faith. I think it is time we really evaluated our way of life and as I become more self aware, I see this and am learning.


Blogger Melissa said...

Ah shopping...when I was in Cambodia for the first time I bought a pair of Old Navy jeans at the local market for $4...they had the $30 price tag on them ready to be shipped out (of course a few get 'left behind' to sell at local markets). At first it was uncomfortable shopping in the market so cheaply but the reality is that the workers get paid no more if i shop there or at home in the store. I'm not sure what the best way to help is but I've bought one pair of jeans in the last 2 years...

It was unbelievable to see all this stuff that we spend so much $$ on being sold sooo cheaply-and yet the vendor was still making a profit...goes to show what it is really worth and what those who are making it get as compensation. Word of the day - exploitation...obviously those who manufacture clothes in third world countries need to be paid more (though many of the cambodian factories are not as bad as other places once you factor in the general cost of living) but we in the west are also being fooled into thinking that lables and such are worth the prices we pay!

11:25 p.m., February 05, 2006  

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