We’ve been suckered into the big lie
I’m going to ask you to read this with an open mind. Some of you will be offended, but I’m OK with it. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find that there’s a compelling argument here, worthy of your thoughtful consideration. In fact, I’ll bet on it.
We are constantly bombarded with commercial images of the so-called good life. These crafty advertisements are designed to do one thing: influence us to buy something. Because we have been deliberately trained over a few generations to believe what we are told, we assume that whatever someone is selling must be good for us — and that our happiness depends on consuming that thing. It’s a sick premise and a lie, but effective nonetheless. Don’t believe it? Just look at us.
Think about the bizarre stuff we buy. Soda. Cheese puffs. Video games. Hair spray. Barbie Dolls. Seriously? We lap up whatever is put in front of us like starving dogs, desperately clinging to the fantastic notion that these things will bring us some semblance of meaningful bliss. We actually fight over this ridiculous drivel in stores. Individually and collectively, we have been enrolled into an elaborate, deceitful scam, strategically engineered by a relatively small number of highly skilled, obscenely wealthy con-artists. The con goes something like this:
Give us your money and we’ll deliver your happiness in the form of this thing. We’ll distract you from the most important, the most beautiful, and the most urgent parts of your life so you can obsess over the synthetic and fleeting joy inherent in whatever we’re selling. This thing is designed to last about 37 seconds, so that empty feeling you get when it’s all gone is easily replaced by purchasing this newly improved, superficially updated version, now available for more money.
You’re not beautiful without this thing; in fact, you’re probably grotesquely offensive — right up until the moment you give us your money. You are intrinsically unable to enjoy your life, daft as you are — right up until the moment you give us your money. People don’t like you, in fact, they are probably repulsed by you — right up until the moment you give us your money. The stuff you have (even if it’s the stuff you bought from us last week) is inadequate, embarrassing and unconditionally old-fashioned. Whatever joy you feel is not the authentic kind, it’s meaningless — right up until you give us your money, in exchange for whatever horsecrap we’re selling today.
The truth is, we’ve been suckered into the big lie. Some of us more so than others, but by in large — we’ve taken the bait and now we’re just swallowing every glistening, empty hook dangled in front of us. The saddest part of this whole ridiculous reality — we know it. We’ve abandoned reason, logic, and every practical impulse to expose the truth — in exchange for something new and shiny for sale. As a result, we misspend our precious time, energy, and resources on trivial baubles, meaningless sex-crazed zombie-themed entertainment and junk food; we’ve stopped thinking; we’ve stopped caring; we’ve stopped taking purposeful action on our own behalf. And it’s killing us.
As an organizational solutions and strategies consultant, my work is focused on helping forward-thinking people to dig their way out of the mountain of dross that has absolutely consumed us. All I do is help clear the clutter, so people can rediscover and reconnect with what matters most: who we love, what we do, how and why we live; because everything else is just stuff. But here’s some good news: you can do it on your own. Get rid of your junk. Turn off your television. Stop looking for things to buy, and start thinking about what matters most to you and your family. If the things in your life hold the greatest value, it may be time to rethink your life. Despite what some would have you believe, living the good life has nothing to do with your stuff.
Evan Zislis is founder and principal consultant of http://www.MyIntentionalSolutions.com, delivering hands-on organizational solutions and strategies consulting for households, businesses, nonprofits, students, and life transitions. For more information about simplifying your stuff and organizing your life, call 970.366.2532, email Evan@MyIntentionalSolutions.com or become a friend at http://www.facebook.com/EvanZislis.
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This will be my 500th column — my final column in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.