I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing. The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time. ~ FilmsForAction
This is a brilliant piece on how corporations control the tempo of our lives while simultaneously giving us the feeling of control.
A few highlights:
- When your entire day is taken up with work, you overvalue your free time and tend not to spend time doing the essentials like walking, mediating, exercising, reading, writing, etc.
- You also tend to overspend during these times because you feel like a rat let out of a cage.
- Overspending is part of the equation, because if you’re not doing that then the economy will suffer.
All of America’s well-publicized problems, including obesity, depression, pollution and corruption are what it costs to create and sustain a trillion-dollar economy. For the economy to be “healthy”, America has to remain unhealthy. Healthy, happy people don’t feel like they need much they don’t already have, and that means they don’t buy a lot of junk, don’t need to be entertained as much, and they don’t end up watching a lot of commercials.
In brief, the corporate world manufactures a culture of desire so that people will perpetually be unhappy. This way they’ll think the only way to fix that is to get a full-time job and buy things.
It’s genius, really.
His conclusion is also smart. The goal probably shouldn’t be for us to disconnect and become hermits. But we should be thinking about what desires are being pushed onto us, and how they can be rejected and replaced with our own.
We need to learn to want less. We need to learn to minimize and focus on creation instead of consumption as the source of happiness.