Progress. The word we often use in order to ignore the fact that our lives have changed so much. It is hard even for us to think about what was it like to live in a world free of smartphones, internet, and computers.
If you take a look at the advancements in the past two decades, it might look astounding. Lightning fast communication, connectivity between trade routes, simplification of complex processes with the help of the internet and so on. But, imagine the cost we had to pay for these advancements.
All our homes are now equipped with air conditioners, water purifiers, air purifiers, hand sanitizers, etc.
And, the number of newly opened restaurants is equal to the number of newly opened pharmacies and multi specialty hospitals. I am also noticing a sharp increase in the number of fertility clinics that are coming up everywhere.
Our body is made to ingest more amount of processed sugar than it had ever handled. This is similar to how we destroyed our ecosystem by dumping more carbon dioxide. First, we killed our surroundings. Now, we’re killing ourselves.
In the process of making the world a better place, we lost everything. We lost our ecosystem; We lost our lifestyle, and most of all, we lost our identities. We became consumers.
We no longer live life. We consume it. ― Vicki Robin
We study, work hard, and earn more to accomplish what? Just the status of an elite consumer. We want to belong to a better status to afford an expensive car, go on an expensive holiday, or wear an expensive suit. The underlying truth is, the more you earn, the more elite you become as a consumer and not as a human.
People in the past were content with what they had. They created everything with their bare hands. They grew their food, built their homes, and made money with whatever they had in surplus. But, as the industrial revolution kicked in, life of a person has became more mechanical.
He was no longer the creator he was. He worked from sunrise to sunset and headed back home thinking about nothing but his next day at work. His thought process has changed from “I can create what I want” to “I need to work to make a living” That was the beginning for what we are today.
The idea is we being consumers was positioned in such a subtle way that we often fail to realize that we are one.
At this point, it is hard for us to come out of what he had become. We have to bear the consequences of what was done by our previous generations. We will live, breath and depart from this world as consumers. But, it is never too late to realize what is going on around us and prepare ourselves for what’s ahead.
In the fast moving world, living a life as a human is the fanciest thing we could dream of. This reminds me of a quote that I had come across a few years back.
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist. — Oscar Wilde
Also published on Medium.