We live in a commercial, disposable
society. Experts in business and industry refer to you and me as "consumers."
Untold millions of dollars are spent on advertising to entice us to spend and consume
more. We are told that if we will just live in the right area, wear the right clothes,
drive the right car, etc., we will be happy. Please understand more wealth and more things
will not make you happy. I hasten to add that poverty will not make you happy, either.
It is important to remember that, in a global sense, you are already wealthy. Nine out
of ten people who inhabit planet earth would trade everything they have to be your next
door neighbor. The most modest among us could not justify our lifestyles in a global
sense. It is important to remember that, while impoverishing ourselves would not
necessarily improve the lives of those in third world countries, we already possess an
overabundance of "stuff."
One of the fastest growing industries today is the storage industry. We are forced by
our consuming nature to rent space to store things that, for the most part, we dont
need, want, or even remember that we own. It is important to distinguish between the
things you have and the things that have you. The next time you are considering a purchase
or acquisition, you might ask yourself the following questions. Do I really want or need this?
Was this my idea or am I falling prey to peer pressure and advertising?
Can I afford this without creating pressure in my life?
What if I do not buy this?
There are no right or wrong answers to the questions of consumption, andwhen you
understand our free enterprise systemyou learn that we profit from helping others.
Therefore, in this sense, poverty is not a virtue. On the other hand, acquiring wealth and
"things" for their own sake is a hollow pursuit.
If you are in the eternal mode of seeking more, you will never have enough. There will
always be people in your world with more or better or newer things than you have, and I
think we can always count on our advertising friends to try and convince us that we are
lacking the essentials of life.
We are all already rich compared to our neighbors around the world. Identify the things
that will really motivate you to improve your life while serving and creating value in the
lives of others.
Todays the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a
published author, columnist, and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South
Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at JimStovall@aol.com.