Oftentimes in America the powerful addiction of consumerism ensnares the majority of the populace, especially during the holidays.
It’s been happening so much over the years that we don’t even realize that it’s even happening. We get used to it. Consumer culture has become a way of life.
According to a December 2013 Huffington Post article by Carolyn Gregoire, “Americans today, compared to 55 years ago own twice as many cars, and eat twice as much per person, but we don’t seem to be any happier because of it.”
Now I get it when people buy things, it’s like they have some control over their lives, but nowadays we are defined by our “stuff.”
“Compared with their grandparents, today’s young adults have grown up with much more affluence, slightly less happiness and much greater risk of depression and assorted social pathology,” David G. Myers, author of “The American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty,” wrote in an American Psychologist article. The excessive consumer culture has become a dark culture.
Former Brietbart News executive chairman and former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon said, “The United States must return to ‘traditionalism’ when it comes to the holiday season while slamming the disturbing ‘consumerism’ that has consumed Thanksgiving,” according to a Brietbart News article in 2017.
Bannon also noted a speech given by Pope John Paul II where he said that “consumerism has become one of the great evils of the 20th century” and materialism has in a sense replaced God. Respectively it’s like Christ has been taken out of Christmas. In my youth I remember people pushing aside Christmas Mass just to feed their materialistic devotion to Black Friday. Mindless spending always superseded God.
There are positives dealing with consumerism during the holidays. It’s never black and white.
According to an article in valuesandcapitalism.com by Kristie Eshelman, “Black Friday is also an incredible demonstration of market power.”
Also it makes people feel more secure about their budget. It is the American money that goes toward consuming that makes the Christmas decorations possible. The positive thought translates to a transaction and the transaction has a positive outcome and is met with a feeling of gratitude. Money is the great equalizer in the world so if companies like Wal-Mart do well then families are happy.
Whatever the case may be whether it’s for religious reasons or physiological motives, we need to get back to what’s important. We need to moderate the consumeristic dark culture and focus on our families and our true values in the melee of the holiday season.