Urban Farm

The Real Epidemic: Affluenza

This consumption epidemic was first presented as a PBS documentary in 1997. Many books and articles have been written on the damage consumerism inflicts on the environment, society, and people’s psychological health.

The symptoms of affluenza include communities where people don’t know each other; houses with televisions for every member of the family; and people who, on the surface, have it all but feel depressed and empty. You don’t need medical training to diagnose affluenza, can be defined as a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

Linda Breen Pierce who wrote Simplicity Lessons: a 12 step guide to Living Simply provides some suggestions;

  1. Limiting material position to what is needed or cherished
  2. Meaningful work
  3. Quality relationships with friends and family
  4. Joyful and pleasurable leisure activities
  5. A conscious and comfortable relationship with money
  6. Connection to community
  7. Sustainable consumption practices
  8. Health living practices including adequate sleep and nutritious food
  9. Practice that fosters personal growth
  10. Connection to nature
  11. Aesthetic beauty in personal environment
  12. Living in harmony with values and principles

So in that spirit, here are my values for the remainder of the year

Action step 1:  Go on a “thing” sabbatical, take some time off from retail to develop a new hobby, mission or practice.

Action step 2:  Choose to start a kitchen garden, grow something for the spice drawer or next salad.

Action step 3:  Increase face to face contact with your family and friends.

Action step 4:  Walk in your local park

Action step 5:  Diary your “Miss” spent money or live with a cash allowance.

Action step 6:  Volunteer or attend a charity event.

Action step 7:  Write your budget; Planning prevents panic

Action step 8:  Purchase more from the Farmer’s Markets

Action step 9:  Add a practice; more laughing

Action step 10:  Discover a new native plant

Action step 11:  Tie dye some old t-shirts

Action step 12:  Cure the Affluenza in your life.

Get Well soon …

3 thoughts on “The Real Epidemic: Affluenza

  1. I love your action plan for the rest of the year, especially the laughing more, starting a kitchen garden, tie-dyeing, and discovering a new native plant. I love the look of tie-dye and would love to try it out. I just got into natural dyeing using plants I can find in my yard. I have used lichen from our cherry tree so far, but this summer, am excited to use our dahlia’s and maybe some lupines too (although I’d have to forage for those elsewhere). I wrote about my first time dyeing here: https://colibrihomestead.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/natural-wool-dyeing-in-photos-using-instructions-from-1935/. Please post about your tie dye fun — I’d love to read it!!! Really, I’d love to just hear how your action plan goes in general!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here comes that tie dye fun… the plans are to create 4th of July Bandanas as part of our community event at the Indianapolis City Market. We call it Party on the Plaza… Pictures soon.


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