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Consumption

Jozi, the City of Gold, the City of Riches. The promise of wealth, success and happiness is everywhere. If you don’t believe me, just look around you every day and you’ll see signs of it. I mean that literally.There are signs, billboards and screens everywhere. You’re told how wealthy you will be (not can be)  if you just buy this or that product. You’re guaranteed success if you subscribe to this or that magazine. You’ll be happy if you buy this latest beauty cream. You deserve this or that treat. On your way to work, electronic billboards flash enticing newness at you, changing from advert to advert every few seconds, knowing our human craving for the shiny and new and hoping one will hit the mark.

“New improved!”

“Now extra strength!”

“3x faster than the previous model”

The tactics are shrewd, the rhetoric deceiving. If you don’t stay on guard, soon you’ll be consuming a glut of products, bloated on empty promises.

Consumption for the sake of it is a path that leads us away from ourselves. We become distorted, surrounded and covered up by the unnecessary. There is a big difference between needs and wants. Our needs are relatively simple and we will seek these things out without being shouted at in giant letters 4 metres high. Our wants are what can get us in trouble, as these are usually driven by our ego. 

The next time you find yourself taking out your wallet, ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If the answer is no and you put your wallet away, then congratulations. You’re awake and in control.

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