Consumerism

consumerismThe definition of the word is to "encourage the acquisition of goods and services in ever greater amounts"
So why then has the term "less is more" become more significant in today's life-style?

In the first place one has to look to the past for interesting comparisons. Some 100 years ago, huge choices of items simply did not exist and the local general store was the public's supplier of limited goods. Then in the late 1800's the first merchandise catalogue appeared with the promise to send anything that was in production to the buyer. A new mode of consumerism was born.

After world war II a vast number of household appliances became available and due to the advent of plastics, cheap goods became available and economies expanded rapidly.

Not long after followed the rise of warehouse shopping and the smaller stores morphed into supermarkets. Fast forward to the computer age with one click shopping which offered same day delivery. Purchasing had now been driven to a another level altogether.

There are many reasons why people think that possessions are essential to living, one idea being that those less affluent in society could aspire to a different social class through acquiring [can we ever forget the saying "keeping up with the Joneses"!]

Yet another reason for having so much is simply because we can, especially when the credit card became a magical piece of plastic, "the pot at the end of the rainbow" was now within easy reach.

Some frantic purchasers think that spiritual and ego satisfaction will result from having masses of goods. One economist writes that "we need to have, wear out, replace at an ever increasing rate".

No more is owning a moderate house with a garden and two offspring the ultimate in life, more satisfying is a big house with a bunch of stuff to fill it!

Many in today's societies shop to alleviate feelings of anxiety, giving a temporary feeling of euphoria, but stress comes creeping back when one has to deal with what is now termed "stuffocation".

But hoarding can also been seen in a different light due to evolutionary drivers for not letting one go of things that we acquire. Call it out Inner Squirrel. Consider sentimental feelings that are aroused by items hoarded that go beyond their physical properties.

Some psychologists attach superstition to these acts, proposing that getting connected to one's past can result in feelings of satisfaction when possessions bring forth memories of special places and events.

Getting back to the "less is more", today the mind-set of many has changed. Some are only too eager to throw out stuff, for example, electronics associated with old analogue can be changed to digital instead, and newly acquired awareness that hyper-acquisition can have dire consequences.

Many studies show that experiences, not possessions elicit true happiness. On the extreme end are the minimalists, who wish for no more than the essentials. Possessions can dominate our lives, destroying the calm and equilibrium which should exist.

Today professional organizers can be hired to clean out the homes of obsessive shoppers and a new economy is growing as junk-hauling companies are booming.

Thankfully the notion that our lives should have some semblance of serenity is taking hold.

Fortunately when entering a MATSIMELA outlet, a serene ambiance is felt, allowing for clients to browse and purchase items minus pressure, which ultimately leads to good customer and business relations.

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