Dis-Ownership – The Next trend? I Hope So…..

“I’ve gotta have it”, “I want, I want, I want”.

For me, as an educator and someone who cares a great deal about children, both as children and as what they have the potential to be as a future generation there are some things that trouble me. One of them is to see children and young people craving possessions because they believe that having and owning things will define who they are – that they are somebody. We know they didn’t just get like this and that they have caught the bug from their parents – a generation who convinced themselves that if that @@@ their boss would just recognize them with a bit more money, if they just had that newest model of car (instead of the one that was superb and new 6 months ago) then they could find the key to meaning and happiness in their lives.

Quite a long time ago I stopped going anywhere near malls at weekends. To me, they appear to be full of people who have stoked up on the biggest mortgage the bank would allow, have maxed out their EMIs on the car loan and their credit cards. They don’t usually have any store bags in their hands, because they can’t buy. They’re there to look longingly at all the things they should be able to buy, if only the world was fair; all the things that if they just had the money to buy would turn their lives around to an experience of unending bliss – but are just out of reach.

All of this saddens me from the individual perspective – it’s really no way to live a happy, meaningful life. It also saddens me from a collective perspective, as this mass unnecessary consumption and waste of resources is rapidly driving our planet to an early grave. If the populations of India and China choose simply to replicate this shallow, superficial version of modernism, then plainly and simply the world has no future.

So, I get excited, hopeful and more positive when I read articles like this from Fast Company some days ago:

Fast Company Article – Dis-ownership

I love the simplicity of these ideas. I love the fact that there are people described here who are ready to be judged by their fellow man on the basis of their ingenuity, creativity and the work of their minds, rather than whether they have accumulated the latest ‘must-have’ possessions. Articles like this hold out hope to a man who is not ashamed of the fact that he wears clothes which are nearly 20 years old and still doesn’t own a flat screen TV. We need a new model for defining human success and a new model for creating happy societies. I’m willing to gamble that it won’t be built heavily around consumption.


One Response

  1. This post touches a very deep chord. Thank you for sharing this.

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