Have Humans Become A Race Of Mindless Consumers?

Posted by Ranju Ramachandran in Society
March 13, 2018

I am not advocating a the kind of life where people don’t get their needs solved through different products. I too dislike India’s License Raj period, when one had to wait almost six months to get a Chetak scooter which was kind of the only choice. Today, I can get anything that I can think of with a touch on my phone – the options and varieties are endless. It feels good but it simply raises our expectations regarding the product and increases our chances of being disappointed.

We feel the same way in every choice in our life – “I could have done this better.” “I could have made a different choice.” It always happens with phones. You buy a phone with good features, but when your friend buys a better phone at a lesser cost, you feel dissatisfied with the choice you made, even though yours was a good choice.

Finally, this is not only harming human beings but also other animals. An example of this would be ivory being poached from African elephants which are then imported to China. It is sad to see that in our greed for luxurious items, we are ready to harm other species around us. In just a decade, central Africa has lost 64% of its elephants. Around 100,000 elephants were killed by ivory poachers.

To me, it is just sickening to see this happening to other species just to satisfy our never-ending appetite for luxury products. The next time someone gifts you an expensive ivory-carved gift, help them understand why we should kill such demands by being responsible consumers.

This is where I felt the concept of ‘minimalism’ could be a solution. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we value the most and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It embraces intentionality and has a purpose. It is great to see that already many people in the western countries are trying this for a change.

The important questions to ponder are here is where are we going from here? Are we becoming uncontrollable consumers instead of seeking value from our products?

Perhaps we should take a step back and think whether we actually need all the clutter we’re ready to accumulate into our lives.