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;
- Limiting material position to what is needed or cherished
- Meaningful work
- Quality relationships with friends and family
- Joyful and pleasurable leisure activities
- A conscious and comfortable relationship with money
- Connection to community
- Sustainable consumption practices
- Health living practices including adequate sleep and nutritious food
- Practice that fosters personal growth
- Connection to nature
- Aesthetic beauty in personal environment
- 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 …