Gratitude and materialism offer different stories about what we need in order to feel secure. With materialism security is based on having the right things. We know what these right things are by keeping an eye on our neighbors and on current fashions. Gratitude pulls us out of this rat race. It shifts our focus from what’s missing to what’s there. If we were to design a cultural therapy that protected us from depression and, at the same time, helped us reduce consumerism, it would surely include cultivating our ability to experience gratitude.
From Active Hope
May I have a grateful heart.
Consider all the things for which you are grateful. How many of them can be bought? Where are the seductive promises of the ads that bombard you? Do you really need these things?
Then he told them, “Be careful to guard yourselves against every kind of greed, because a person’s life doesn’t consist of the amount of possessions he has.”
Let us ask ourselves: Do I really need all these material objects and complicated recipes for living? Can I manage without all these unnecessary extras and live a life of greater simplicity?
More resources have been consumed in the last fifty years than in all preceding human history. Yet we are not any happier, and depression has reached epidemic proportions.
We live in an era of consumerism and it’s all about desire-based consumerism and it has nothing to do with things we actually need.
Consumerism is at once the engine of America and simultaneously one of the most revealing indicators of our collective shallowness.
When consumerism really is at its worst is getting people to buy things that don’t actually improve their lives.
Contemplation is an alternative consciousness that refuses to identify with or feed what are only passing shows. It is the absolute opposite of addiction, consumerism or any egoic consciousness.
The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.
Bryant H. McGill
It’s a measure of the depth of our consumer trance that the death of the planet is not sufficient to break it.
There are signs, I think, that people aren’t satisfied by consumerism: that people resent the fact that the most moral decision in their lives is choosing what color their next car will be.
J. G. Ballard
We often see literature about women that impair and immerse the women themselves, such as when women are portrayed as objects of consumerism.