Consumerist goals

I often hear the phrases “I want to enjoy my life!” or “I’m only young once!”.

Of course, they’re both fantastic sentiments and worthy of praise.  But more often than not, I hear these claim made when someone is trying to justify their inability to save money. Without exception, the individual will have spent their not-insignificant income on getting drunk each weekend, dining at top restaurants and buying expensive brand name clothing.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m not a conservative and I don’t disapprove of drinking and spending money.  In fact I do it myself!  But the difference is that I do it within my means and I don’t hold consumerism and alcoholism as goals in life.

But others do and therein lies my disappointment with my fellow generation Y.  Through our worship of the rich and famous, we’ve been continually presented with images of their lifestyles.  As they stand before us and are held up as shining examples, we see lives lived in opulence where it’s essential to own as much as possible, and drink as much as possible.  And so as a result, we mimic what we see, and without realising it their lifestyle becomes our goal.

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us in society have accepted this image of success and subsequently our goal to achieve.  But really, when you think about it, it’s a dream that’s been subtly imposed on us by what we watch on TV and the stories of the heroes we look up to.

However, as fully grown adults, and as people gifted with the ability of free thought, it’s not good enough for any of us to accept goals superimposed on us by the media and corporations.  Fair enough if someone has accepted consumerism and alcoholism as their motive in life.  But my bet is that the vast majority of people never stopped to think about it, and are just buying stuff they don’t need and drinking to excess because ‘that’s how I enjoy life’.

Those people are wrong though.  There are alternative goals in life and there are other ways of enjoying it.