Tag Archives: Consumerism

The Proper Place of Excess

The Word of God given to us in the Bible or Holy Scriptures tells us to know Who we should worship and what we should not worship. Idolatry of money has crept into the soul of mankind and has poisoned their hearts.

The wisdom teacher of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for all things under the sun, no to agree with the excess man loves so much, but as a warning how to behave and how and to what to focus.

For those who want to celebrate Christmas for whatever reason they want to give, Christians should remember that it is originally a pagan festival and should better abstain from it. But we do agree in Wintertime it is ideal to socialise at the dark hours and it may be lovely to exchange presents around the turn of the year.

When we provide presents for others they should be given with joy and when it brings such a stress like we hear many tell on television, than there is certainly something wrong.

In so called Christian countries, we also see lots of Christmas markets, but at those ‘great events’ there is not much to see about what they call would be the “reason of the season”. At most Christmas markets there are not many stall about the nativity of the Nazarene Jew nor about that man’s ransom offering. Jesus Christ his birth they often call the reason for the season, but we can not see him much in that season or in people’s homes. Also the attitude of those people gathering at those markets does not speak of such an attitude that master teacher asked from his followers. Most people strolling around at those markets are more concerned about the food and drink opportunities and in buying (ridiculous) gadgets and not to expensive presents.

So many feel obliged just to find an other gadget or an other extra surprise and do hope they themselves also will receive many presents.

In this society where excess has become a way of life, for many it might well be also a way of understanding the world, a way of being and interacting in the world, but for sure many chapters in the bible warn for such an attitude and ask us to focus on the more important immaterial things.

Those who call themselves Christian should wonder where they fall in the consumer trap of the capitalist society and why they do not keep to the festivals ordained by the Most High? the festival for the goddess of light and a celebration for a Santa Claus for sure are no part of those.

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To remember

Thanksgiving here + gone > too much to eat + drink = Excess = regular part of natural order

Excess > consequences = plays important role in survival process

Survival of the fittest + the fertilized

Northern Hemisphere winter = season of rest + recuperation

ancestral winter seasons > forebears rejoiced in gathered harvest, savored freshly slaughtered meat, + delighted in new beer + wine.

Northern Hemisphere ancestors celebrated = winter solstice = December 21 = marking the rebirth of the sun = traditionally been associated with feasts + festivals replete with excesses => secular Christmastime holiday = direct descendant of these revelries.

Roman Saturnalia + misrule, centered on feasting + gift-giving > societal role reversals where servants + peasants became lords + ladies for a day or short season => usually steady tables of fortune turned for a moment

misrule (common in European societies and colonial America) individuals of low socioeconomic status demanded wealthier neighbors + patrons treat them – the servants + peons of society – as if they were the wealthy + deserving

Puritans of Massachusetts infamously outlawing Christmas in late 1600s =/= legendary anniversary of the Savior’s birth > simultaneous misrule celebrations that exalted excesses, some acceptable + others decidedly distasteful.

1800s, misrule evolved > new type of social inversion > persisted to our own day => Christmas made for children

children = miniature adults = occupied bottom rung of social hierarchy along with peasants + servants

Modern secular Christmas – family celebration – created at this time with children becoming focus of charity + goodwill

starting with Black Friday Eve (used to be called Thanksgiving) + continuing through New Year’s Day celebrations = unmatched devotion to consumerism, materialism, consumption, waste, and over-indulgence.

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Preceding

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

 

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Additional reading

  1. A time for everything
  2. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  3. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  4. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  5. A new year with hopes and challenges
  6. Opportunity!
  7. A season of gifts
  8. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  9. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

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Further reading

  1. Presents, Presents, and more Presents.
  2. Christmas Stress
  3. Buying All the Gifts
  4. Christmas time!
  5. The spirit of Christmas
  6. Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks
  7. It’s the Thought that Counts?
  8. 30 Ways to Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas
  9. 17 Things Only Girls Who Hate Shopping Understand
  10. How The Garden Grinch Saved Your Christmas
  11. 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
  12. My Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  13. 15 ways to get into the Christmas Spirit
  14. A Special Package
  15. The Gift & the Giver
  16. Baby Jesus Brings the gifts
  17. Blogmas Day 14: Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  18. On the 14th day of Christmas…
  19. Dear Santa
  20. Secret Santa!
  21. Why we don’t do Santa
  22. Nativity?
  23. Christmas Blogging Challenge Day 2 – My Favourite Christmas Tradition
  24. The Gift That Keeps on Giving
  25. The Holiday Gifting Struggle
  26. Do you search? ✨BlogMas✨
  27. Finding God
  28. Why Not Do Something Different This Christmas

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Just a Little Bit More - Book Blog

Thanksgiving, once again, is here and gone. I know I had too much to eat and drink. How about you?

Excess is a regular part of the natural order. Our bodies turn excess calories into fat cells – technically, stored energy for later use. Most excess weight, however, is simply lugged around serving unwittingly as a contributing factor to health problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, is eliminated by the body. But a morning-after dehydration headache, caused by excessive drinking, lets you know you overdid it. Long-term excessive drinking, of course, will kill you.

Excess has its consequences.

Excess, nevertheless, plays an important role in the survival process. You and I are here thanks to an excessive amount of spermatozoa, from which emerged one little victor to join forces with an ovum. Survival of the fittest and the fertilized! And not only that, some of the plants which provide food, oxygen, and beauty upon the earth produce seeds for their own reproduction numbering in excess of hundreds…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

A thermometer in the proverbial mouth of society would measure a high temperature. We are all feverish. Psychiatrist Dirk De Wachter calls our society ‘borderline‘. Are we aware of a kind of collective delusion? ‘Hypermarkets’ , that offer up to 30.000 articles, have increased their turnover from 616 to 4.823 billion euro. A good and strong pupil who perfectly meets our economic model of better, faster… and always more.

The supermarket is a temple of consumption.
File:Supermarket beer and wine aisle.jpgEvery product cries out to be bought . With an agressiveness that borders on hysterical, our advertising boys try to convince us that margarine produces a more harmonious family life and that coca cola creates friendships. They shamelessly use insights of psychology to encourage people to consume. And they do not spare anyone, not even children.

The energy that is required of human beings to produce 30.000 articles, to distribute them and to sell them is colossal. This whole chain mobilises gigantic forces and realises this with such passion, that it betrays the conviction that to produce and consume material things will give us what we are looking for.

Does it still surprise you that we are drawn into consumption with forever stronger stimuli , at the cost of other things ?
 
It is a kind of psychological materialism that makes that we are more preoccupied with ‘having’ than ‘being’. If there even is time for ‘being’. Recently a study with 8000 students at the Catholic University of Leuven has shown that 1/7 has serious emotional problems: fear, depression, suicidal thoughts. Philosopher and author Hein Stufkens said in an interview :

” People that think about suicide, do not really want to stop living, they want to stop living ‘in this way’. They want to live differently. They are looking for real life “.

These are hard facts that in the West we are strongly ego-centric. Isn’t it high time that we look beyond the borders of the ego? One can maybe buy a lot in the supermarket, but you do not buy friendship there, no hope and no trust. Just like it is impossible to buy happiness, which is a good thing!

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Preceding

Dutch version / Nederlandstalige versie: In de supermarkt kan je (g)een hoop kopen

Looking for the consummation of presents

Luxury

Summermonths and consumerism

Your position about materialistic desires having conquered the world

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Fear, struggles, sadness, bad feelings and depression

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Family happiness and little things we do

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Life isn’t unfair

Soft values? Needed heart- and- soul!

Watch out

You’re Lighter Than Air~

How do Other People Feel About Mental Health?

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

O’ Captain! My Captain!

Just be yourself…

Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression

Less… is still enough

Less for more

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

We all have to have dreams

Forward ever backwards never!

“Der Grad der K… De mate van creativiteit – Degree of creativity

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Additional reading

  1. Capitalism
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  4. Migrants to the West #3
  5. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  6. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  7. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  8. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  9. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  10. Paris World Summit of Conscience, International interfaith gathering #3
  11. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  12. société, crise, esprit
  13. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  14. Parenthood made more difficult
  15. Living Apart together
  16. Being Charlie 6
  17. Land not an ordinary asset
  18. Securing risks
  19. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  20. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  21. Oh god, this is never going to end!
  22. Depression Is and When
  23. What IF you’re only driven by stress?
  24. A little ray of sunshine.
  25. Getting fate in your change to positiveness
  26. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  27. Pieces
  28. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  29. Be an Encourager
  30. Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond
  31. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws

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Further reading

  1. What I Want
  2. Materialism or Emotions?
  3. Snail
  4. The choice of being “choiceless”
  5. Convenience Store | Grocery Store in Delhi-NCR, India
  6. Gloomy retail outlook for the first quarter
  7. Walmart – World’s Largest Retail Chain
  8. The Supermarket is the Nexus of Existential Dread
  9. Battle Of The Supermarkets
  10. Grocery Chains Aren’t Building New Supermarkets Where Most Needed
  11. there’s more to stacking shelves than you think
  12. These are the dirtiest places in every supermarket
  13. Grass hair clip..?
  14. Russian supermarket slammed for selling chopping boards with photo of Barack Obama as a monkey
  15. Russian store sold ‘monkey Obama’ chopping boards & apologized
  16. Day 7 – An Educational Day at the Supermarket
  17. What’s the Best Way to Sell a Product?
  18. Overhaul the world’s money policy
  19. Intermittent truth
  20. Global economies shape our cities: is it acceptable?
  21. Woes and Watch-out Warnings
  22. Listening to the Web
  23. Please Sir, I Want Some More
  24. I am rich and famous. Now what…?
  25. The truth about Consume
  26. How Much Do I Consume?
  27. Rule #105: Cyclical consumption
  28. Materialistic Wants? Not.
  29. “money is the reason we exist, everybody knows it, it’s a fact, kiss kiss”
  30. Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society
  31. Cotton and cocaine
  32. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  33. Contrasts.
  34. Contented Consumer?
  35. The foolish man
  36. Being No One One, Precis: Part 2
  37. Turning the Poor into Consumers
  38. Capitalising on Christmas
  39. Lighting up Christmas
  40. Christmas fragment 1
  41. Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend
  42. Holiday gift-giving between adults is a needless, consumerist chore
  43. To Save Pandas, We Must Eat them
  44. Things I’ve learned from killing consumerism #13 – We want beauty for ourselves
  45. Obama: Stop pretending you care about Syrian people
  46. Should We Be Scared?
  47. Its 100% OK to offend people in my world
  48. Life..a never ending..
  49. Born Privileged
  50. {quote of the day}
  51. Only to be Lost
  52. Run
  53. Self Harm
  54. My Only Way Out
  55. Ahhhhhh
  56. the curtain comes up
  57. I Have This Urge
  58. Letter Of Departure
  59. The truth about approuachable
  60. Officially Trumped: When “being Real” gets too Real
  61. Contented Consumer?
  62. Magic
  63. First Feelings – Sonnet No. 4
  64. Friends
  65. Universe
  66. 2015/2016

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Bond Zonder Naam, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Movement Without a Name, Welfare matters

Looking for the consummation of presents

When the end of the year is coming
people are looking for the consummation of presents

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are coming closer to the Winter holidays and in the down side of this globe the Summer holidays. The holidays can be an unsettling time for atheists and the Christmas holidays may be an stressing times for trinitarian Christians. Those Christians also often want to know how atheists can cope with what those Christians call the Season of the Greatest Gift on earth.

Sarah, a dog-faced atheist currently living in North Carolina, writes

Once when talking to a family member who is aware of my atheism and verbal about it, she asked: “Does it bother you when you get Jesus stuff for the holidays?” The truth, yes and no. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

She, like many other atheists and lots of Christians, does not seem to know that all this Christmas event has nothing to do with Christianity or the real Jesus born in Bethlehem. Christmas is a pagan feast of which real Christians should abstain. But many Christians love to think about the true real Greatest Gift on earth mankind received. That was indeed the saviour or the Kristos, Jesus Christ, who was really born in 4BCE, October 17. So, we could wonder why they like to celebrate his so called birthday on the birthday of the goddess of light and on the pagan holy day for that goddess.

Therefore it is strange that as self-proclaimed resident holiday gift adviser, this Sarah gives her guiding rules on how to shop for heathens as follows:

  1. Don’t give your atheist friend anything religious.

  2. Avoid gifts that use “Christmas” or “Xmas.”

  3. Coffee is good. Atheists like coffee. {Holiday Shopping For Your Token Atheist Friend}

When we look in the shop windows we also do not see much that reminds people of the Messiah and what he has given to mankind and why we can look at him as the best gift the world ever got.

Many may say that

“The Word became flesh.”

but do not really know what this means.

A certain Chandy who is also knowing that she is been given a gift, likes to share it, but considers it impossible. she also seems to see the reason.

No one’s bothered, which is fine. People have their own choices and finally, Jesus does love them. Others possibly communicate their theology but I can’t. And in some senses I wish I hadn’t learnt it. {Despairing Resonance}

This December she writes

Blood, bodily fluids, wordless crying are at the heart of Christmas story. It is icky, joyful and fills the senses. {Christmas fragment 1}

When we carefully look around everything turns around getting presents and just making lots of fun. Naturally nothing is wrong with making lots of fun and giving each other presents. Lovely. But to have stress about it?! And to say it is all for Jesus?!

Chandy at WordPress continues

It is icky, joyful and fills the senses.

This is why with so many objects criss crossing the planet it fulfils part of the spirit of Christmas. The handling of the card, the wrapping of the gift, the prising of the plastic, the eating of food, the drinking of wine affirms our bodily humanity; for God affirms bodily humanity in its messy state by taking on a breathing, weeing, gurgling body. {Christmas fragment 1}

Looking at mankind they all seem to look for their luck in stuff.

Everyone seeking love, joy, hope, peace, contentment and seeking to find it in stuff. Anyone who has an eternal perspective sees how silly this is – chasing after wealth and popularity and power. Still the pull of this world is strong. Smell that cheddar? Don’t worry about that spring loaded wire it’s sitting on. “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.”  Wealth isn’t the issue.  Idolatry – love of money is.  (But sometimes wealth breeds the other.) {Contented Consumer?}

Even those Christians who say this is the season of peace are arguing that all those refugees better stayed in their country and would leave our developed society on its own, they not coming to take away some food and quality of life. They forget they themselves never brought anything themselves into this life at start, but got everything given to them, life, education, edible plants, sunshine, rain, the earth. Man is so selfish he thinks he has done it all by himself and that everything belongs to himself. To share it with others is difficult. For that reason such a gift season may not be so bad, because than people have to provide something for somebody else, and they have to spend something from their own money for it, which is not so easy for them. but many have fallen in the trap of the ” tyranny of expectations surrounding this so called Holy Day”.

Those who belong to the wealthy better should think about those who have less. This time of gifts should bring them to think about what gifts we all get in our life. Scripture is not against products that make life better for those who produce them.  It is also not against consuming products. but it warns us how we use our money and warns us about the attitude we can take or have to take with the things we can enjoy.

Scriptures does not say at all that luxury would not be allowed, but it gives us an indication that we should be willing to share with others. The Bible tells us the “Love of money” is wrong and corrupting.

Studies show that those with a lot of it are more narcissistic and less generous.  Our tendency is to think – that’s people who are richer than we are – They are self-absorbed and greedy. {Woes and Watch-out Warnings}

In the West we have become a “Consumer driven society”

Buy, buy, buy. Get, get, get. We’re all buyers; consumers of stuff. There are things we need and things we want. Separating our wants from our needs has become more difficult with the growing ideology of consumerism. The encouragement of acquiring more and more stuff at an increasing pace continues to change our society. The “one who dies with the most toys” philosophy has propelled the age of consumerism as our appetite to acquire things has skyrocketed. I wonder though if this is healthy for our society? {Top Risks for a Consumer-Driven Society}

The Spirit of Christmas (short film)

The Spirit of Christmas (short film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way people want to consume is changing and shopping becomes for some less a social activity, but a lonesome internet action, not really interested were it comes form at what cost, as long as he can get it the cheapest.

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Distinguished Programs Joseph DeRosa warns

So as we enter the Holiday season – whatever Holiday you celebrate – think about your own gift giving habits. If it’s cheaper online, I get it. That’s simply being fiscally responsible. But if it’s not, I’d challenge you to go to the store, walk the aisles, smile at others and say hello. Let’s not slip so far into our rabbit holes that we forget that the difference between living and being alive is the amount of interaction and experience we have with one another. Would any of us really want to be walking around this planet alone? Would that be alive? Not me. Make the choice to live alive. Connect with someone. Today.

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Preceding

Family happiness and little things we do

Halloween is Satanist Christmas

He who beams never walks in the dark

The Evolution Of Passover–Past To Present

Welcome to Easter 2014

Next: One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

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Additional reading

  1. A season of gifts
  2. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  3. Focus on outward appearances
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  8. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  9. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  10. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  11. The imaginational war against Christmas
  12. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  13. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  14. Holiday tolerance
  15. Exodus 9: Liar Liar
  16. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  17. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  18. Geert Wilders wants mandatory blackface at Dutch festival
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  20. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  21. Christian values, traditions, real or false stories, pure and upright belief
  22. I believe in you…
  23. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  24. Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart
  25. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  26. Nativity scene of the birth of the Bill of Rights
  27. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  28. Sancta Claus is not God
  29. What Jesus sang
  30. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  31. Weekly World Watch 12th – 18th Sept 2010‏
  32. Christmas trees
  33. I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !
  34. God’s Special Gift
  35. What do you want for Christmas
  36. Speedy Christmas!
  37. Don’t Envy the World

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Further related postings on the net

  1. Christmas Twinkle and Festive Helsinki City Lights
  2. You Lived Your Best Life If You Had These ’90s Toys When You Were A Kid
  3. 27 of the best 90s toys that prove Christmas used to be way better
  4. Five holiday light displays you can’t miss this holiday season
  5. The North Poles’ Secret by Zoey Hart #CinnamonTreats
  6. Bending History
  7. Advent No.12: Gifting guide for friends…
  8. 🎶 Seventh day of Christmas 🎶
  9. Joy to the World
  10. Advent Day 12
  11. 12 Days Of Christmas… ‘This Time Of Year’ by Only Girl
  12. The Twelve Days of Christmas: Preparing Families for Emergencies
  13. BoyChild Chooses: The 12 Reviews of Christmas, Day 12–McDuff’s Christmas
  14. Bear With Me While I Wait For Santa
  15. Christmas Gift Guide
  16. It’s beginning to look a lot like…
  17. How to find the Christmas gifts for your friends and family?
  18. Transcending the Financial Border
  19. Prepare ye the way of the Lord
  20. He Loves to Hear You Pray
  21. Christmas prayers for children
  22. Christmas 31 Day Scripture Writing Plan: Day 12 – Malachi 3:1-3
  23. Advent 2015 – Day 14 – Perfect Peace
  24. Holidays for Earth Part II
  25. New Bond Street – Xmas 2015
  26. The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity
  27. The foolish man

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Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft

Some might think we are

“constantly striving to develop lives of meaning without any outside recourse. The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

but today lots of people strive to enrich themselves with material wealth and consider their live worthwhile when they can be more wealthier and better showing off than others. Lots of people think they miss enough money or enough gadgets to enjoy fully life. For many everything seems to turn around the gathering of as much money as possible.

Lots of people do not look for the depth of meaning of life and are not so much interested in the others around them and the influence or necessity of them for them.

thisissueappearsThe American Conservative in the May/June 2015 article speaks about Matthew Crawford his books “Shop Class As Soul Craft” plus “The World Beyond Your Head” and looks at ‘the subtitle to his latest book which promises a look at our “age of distraction“.

The article says:

The premise of Crawford’s book is that our distractedness is merely symptomatic of a deeper cultural defect, a misrepresentation of the self that has permeated our society. He traces this back to Enlightenment philosophy, especially the thought of Immanuel Kant. Enlightenment thinkers of the late 17th and 18th centuries presented a view of the person that contrasted drastically with medieval and ancient thought: they put unprecedented emphasis on the rational individual as separate from society or community. They posited new theories about freedom founded upon reason and self-determination, with epistemological roots in ideas such as Descartes’s famous claim that “I think therefore I am.” Kant believed that knowledge and ethics must necessarily be situated within the mind—that existence must be interpreted through the autonomy of the individual.

The writer thinks

The soul is increasingly insulated from the world outside our heads.

Whereas in the real world, Crawford writes,

“we are subject to the heteronomy of things; the hazards of material reality,”

and continues

what Kant has given us is our modern identification of freedom with choice, in which choice is a “pure flashing forth” of the individual will.

that identification of freedom with choice has been there already from the period of the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Man had the choice either to follow his Creator His Will or to go his own way. Man choose the latter.

Thousand of years later, many think the world around them limits them and nature is to  block  their leg.

dumb nature is understood to be threatening to our freedom as rational beings, it becomes attractive to construct a virtual reality that will be less so, a benignly nice [reality] where there is no conflict between self and world

How many people do not want to be on their own and have the world turning around themselves. For many it is most important that everything turns around their own “I” so that they can say with proud: “I am“.

The associate editor of  The American Conservative Gracy Olmstead writes:

Consumer culture tries to destroy the discomforts and imperfections that are necessarily part of life.

Is not there one of the greatest problems of our present society, which has put most of its hopes on the material things it can require to make its own. It is not that they want to hoard things, but they love to gather all the newest things so that they can show off against others who have to do with older things.

Though the writer of the article finds that modern cars are designed in an insulating and distracting way, we more see them as copies of each other not having any more the specific personality or difference as the cars had in the 1950ies, when each car looked so specific and really could get its fans for one or another model and each model with its own flashy personal colours. to us it looks like that car owners lost the interest to have a car or any other object (clothes, houses) that look very personal and have their won story to tell. People do want all the same and are willing to cue for the latest gadget. Everybody else has to be able to see that they have this or that brand and can afford this or that mobile or i-pad, which has to be of the latest and newest ‘invention’.

Concerning the cars we could agree with the idea the  critic has

Everything within a car is constructed to give a sense of isolation and ease.

When the author would mean that the person who is driving the car would like to have the feeling to being his own world, having his own little world where nobody else around is being part of it. When the music can play loud it does not matter that others can hear it in their bathroom or are whipped out of bed. It is there music and everybody else should have to hear that is the best music to listen to.

Naturally the cultivation of “me-worlds” extends beyond auto-mobile design, but form men this might still be the thing to make their ‘me’, though the i-pad has taken a lot of that place.

Olmstead finds that Crawford spends a good deal of the book arguing that an Enlightenment approach to epistemology leads to narcissism: an understanding of the world that revolves entirely around the self and writes

The narcissist “treats objects as props” and struggles to comprehend them as objects with a reality of their own. The fantasy of autonomy, when full-grown, results in a “project of open-ended, ultimately groundless self-making.” {Against Kant and Consumerism}

Interestingly, Crawford identifies our treatment of others as the root of online narcissism in the age of Facebook:

“We increasingly deal with others through representations of them that we have,” he writes. “This results in interactions that are more contained, less open-ended, than a face-to-face encounter or a telephone call, giving us more control.”

Automobiles, the reviewer says

“can foster circumspection—literally, looking around for others and regarding oneself as an object for others in turn—or a collection of atomized me-worlds.” Our experience becomes ever more “mediated by representations, which remove us from whatever situation we inhabit directly, as embodied beings who do things.”

Throughout the ages the world has received its many distractions. The tools may have changed but the aim and way has stayed the same. Today “virtual reality” allows many to find back lost friends or schoolmates and gives the opportunity to interact with more, and more diverse, people, not fewer and not more homogeneous.

For American society to emerge from the distractions of consumer culture and virtual existence

Ms Olmstead finds

we must look beyond the symptoms and consider the disease: the shroud of individualism that prevents us from fully embracing the real world.

The individuals looking for themselves to acquire as much material wealth as possible have to come to see that they would be better to work at their social contacts spending more time to be with each other in real life than in chat sessions, never going deep in a conversation. For sure we we must

cultivate an awareness of—and love for—the world beyond ourselves.

The Edge Foundation / Flickr

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Preceding articles:

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Why “Selfishness” Doesn’t Properly Mean Being Shortsighted and Harmful to Others

The I Am to explore

little i

Path/Walk/Sink

Comic: The Last Time I Felt Accepted For Who I Am

Be realistic, do not pretend

The world starts with yourself

Believe in yourself!

Believe in your greatness

Find Inspiration and Follow Your Dreams

Wishy-Washy…

There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”

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Additional reading:

  1. Souls and Religions with Nirvana and light
  2. For those who make other choices
  3. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  4. Detroit, A city not to be understood

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7 Comments

Filed under Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

People do like to have things for themselves. Contemporary day gadgets play on the consumer market to win the eyes and greedy hands.

English: Students and scholars can study a wea...

Students and scholars can study a wealth of materials and artifacts available at the Broadcasting Archives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of people are convinced that luck lies in having enough things. Many have put their hope in having enough material wealth. They are convinced having enough money will bring them luck and everything they want. Their head believes material wealth shall bring them peace and heaven on earth.

We would agree that some objects can bring intrinsic joy. We also would agree there are man made things which can serve us to have an easier life.

But, we also want to warn our readers that many man-made things can be utterly dangerous for man and for nature as well. Lots of things man create ruins mother earth. Lots of people do have no respect at all for the environment and  waste a lot of things making it for the generation coming after them, more difficult to live properly in a healthy environment.

May we lift a veil of reality?

Land of Wealth

Land of Wealth (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it not better that we are conscious of what we eat and drink and of what we buy and use? Is it not better that we more would ask ourselves: Where is this made under which condition?

Should we not take more notice of the hidden facts?

We all should remember that there are lots of things which seemingly look very attractive, and can tempt us to buy it. But will they contribute to a better life?

Man may make lots of things but not all of those things are good for him. Several things, instead of bringing peace, welfare, bring despair and death.

As Prayson Daniel writes in his blog “With All I Am“:

Those that bring despair and death often promise intrinsic joy and life but deliver despair and death. Fame, sex, and money are objects that often promise intrinsic joy and life. When they serve us, they do deliver what they promised. {Joy in Submission}

Those who continuously look to enrich themselves do not have as such an eye for others; Their interest in themselves.

To make the best of life it is a matter to be able to set yourself, your own “I” at the side.

A joyful living springs from thinking of ourselves less and others more. In such moments where we think of ourselves less and others more, we are supremely joyful. Consider the moment when a loving father meets his newborn or a wanderer sees a sunrise and feels a spark of warm sunrays on her skin after a long and dark winter. In such moments, time stops. Though the quantitative time continues, the qualitative time everlastingly stops. In those joyful moments we reign by serving. We reign through serving by submitting to the moment. Submission is joyful. Supremely joyful. {Joy in Submission}

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Preceding articles:

Summermonths and consumerism

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

Less for more

Less… is still enough

Contentment: The five senses

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

Just be yourself…

The natural beauties of life

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Additional reading:

  1. Greed more common than generosity
  2. How we think shows through in how we act
  3. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 3
  4. Intellectual servility a curse of mankind
  5. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  6. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  7. Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system
  8. Capitalism
  9. Economics and Degradation
  10. Ecological economics in the stomach #1 Alarmbell
  11. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  12. Facing disaster fatigue
  13. Waste and recycling
  14. How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]
  15. True riches
  16. Count your blessings
  17. Good to make sure that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy

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22 Comments

Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Welfare matters

Summermonths and consumerism

Summertime seems to have difficulties to show her face this year. Over a few days the days will shorten again and we did not have yet some real good nice warm days.

In the supermarkets they feel the consumption of meat not taking off like they want and therefore they are presenting special bargain prices, advertising against other trying to present the cheapest products. If they would be the best products would be an other matter. Also if they would be produced in a decent ethical way is for many of no concern.

We can imagine Middle School teacher Bob James throughout the year has to face his pupils with all sorts of gadgets, disturbed and tempted by lots of consumer products and market activities.

Real teachers do find it necessary to help others. Bob James also is firmly convinced that all of us need to be more proactive in helping others.

We need to help them when disaster strikes, when they are recovering and then when developing their lives to be the people that God intended them to be. We are meant to be independent of all except for God. On Him alone should we be dependent. Thus, as I seek to help others, I seek to move beyond mere relief and am focusing on rehabilitation and reconciliation. We are to be reconciled with God, with our fellow human beings and with our environment. If any one of these is missing, we will have problems. This is a tall order, but I will always seek to bring reconciliation. {About Me}

He, like many teachers are daily confronted with the non-interest for God, is probably also seeing that today the kids, but also their parents, have made new gods and have more interest in the material belongings than the spiritual.

The Human Use of Human Beings

The Human Use of Human Beings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In previous articles on this blog we pointed out to this behaviour which is destroying our society like CO poisoning, not seen, not smelled, not heard. We are living in a society where eyes are directed on gaining capital, even if we need not to take notice of necessary protection for man or do not mind bringing shortage or harm to others, to get more money.

Our economy is based on consumerism. Ads are designed to appeal to people like me and make me not just want, but Need, the latest thing – whether that be a soft drink or the latest model car. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

In the years straight after the World Wars people seemed to know again the value of the necessities of life. Folks appreciated again the small things. (We remember sitting with three on a bench, having one study book, which we savoured like the best we could have to receive knowledge. We never wanted to have it for ourselves alone and where pleased when we could share things with others.) They were pleased with what they could get. They also wanted to show to others who they were and used their cloths to present their identity.

Today everybody seems to be hiding behind their clothes. They now have to be from one or the other brand, design and colour which is in fashion. All want to belong to the group and hide their own self behind brands which are ‘in’. Everything must be dictated by the market. Nobody wants to go against what the market dictates.

English: RedEye Sailboat Category:Images of Ch...

RedEye Sailboat one of the things people like to have for enjoying themselves and to show off (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Summer this is made even more clear by everybody wanting to go in the garden and show off with what the market advertises and wants to press on everybody. As such, once it is beautiful weather, we can not sit outdoors without having to smell all the combustion products, from the people who do not know how to use properly those advertised and bought barbecue sets.

Having holiday also became equivalent to travelling. When people to day are saying they go on holiday, they mostly mean and want the other person to think they are going to travel abroad. For many taking a holiday in the own garden or in the own country is not having a holiday any more. The market made them to believe to relax and to take vacation or to take leave has to be going abroad and spending a lot of money at enjoyment, entertainment parks, luxury meals and pampering and health treatments.

People have to believe they only count in this society when they can show that they are using the latest gadgets and are ‘by the time’. All people who have not the newest things are ‘old’ or ‘out of date’. They best are ignored or put aside, as not being the right people to associate with. Or they are laughed at as old fashioned or ‘nerds’.

Bob James remarks:

How easily we buy the latest thing and throw away the old. One of the problems is that we not only throw away things, we also tend to throw away people or relationships if they don’t “meet our needs.” {June 8 – What I Really Need}

Those needs have become very selfish. Everything is directed to the ‘I’ and to the ‘what can I gain from this relationship’. Most people want to associate with other people in such a way that they may be sure others will find them interesting for the knowledge and acquaintances of such people. Most relations are build on the use they can provide for the self. Not the giving away has become important, nor the meaning something for some one else, but the meaning for the person him or herself, has become the landmark.

Clearly the focus of most people came on to the wrong things. This also made many relationships not last and break down. Often we see the other person has become of no real value, when not usable any more. We see that at work. As son as a person gets to ‘old’ or to ‘experienced’ and to ‘expensive because of ‘seniority’ he is made redundant.

But also the material things do not get time to stay in use as valuable. As soon there is a new model, the old one is considered as ‘passée’ .
Most people have placed their mind on things which are disposable.

What we should be thinking about is not “things,” but people. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

writes Bob James.

What we should be focusing on more than anything is our relationship with God. {June 8 – What I Really Need} (Though in his article gives a quote about focussing on Jesus, who is not God but the son of God, but who also deserves our attention.)

Today, we can see that a lot of people who are debtors to the material things of this world. Most have forgotten that their body should be a temple, a place for clean things. Natural products for many are a laugh-stock. Biological products for many are either for the ‘loonies’ or have become a way to show off, because they are much more expensive and a way to proof they can afford it and belong to such a class of people, having enough money to buy such things.

Instead of respect for nature and respect for the Creator of all those things man shows more interest to the highly perishable idols presented on television and more and more on the internet, which brings totally new sorts of idols in the living room. All those living according to flesh, often forget that they too, like anybody else, are going to die, but if in spirit they kill the deeds of the body, and that they have much better prospects. For those who live in the spirit can find real intense worthwhile life.

Part of our problem with this issue is that our desires have been made to seem like needs. If we began each day with a focus on Jesus Christ, many of those things we think are “needs” would be shown to be desires. {June 8 – What I Really Need}

Christ Jesus is the man of flesh and blood who gave the world an example how to live according to the will of the Only One God, Whom we should consider the Most High and the Most Valuable. Jesus knew he could not do anything without God. Jesus never did his own will but always wanted to do the Will of God.  Today most consider God a flaw or useless invention.

Lots of people, having all those modern gadgets still do not feel happy. Having so many things they do not yet feel satisfied. They still have a hunger …

They are starving for the real better thing which they do not seem to see by the mist of consumerism. Lots of people are running into problems when they work so hard to take care of all their desires for material things, that they forget to spend more time to build up good relations.

Most people do not see or forget about what they really need.

Bob James thinks about a strong relationship with Jesus Christ, but seems to forget an even more important relationship, namely that with the heavenly Father of Jesus, the Only One True God.

This world needs to find the way back to God. It has lost connection with the Creator. The world has become strayed. We have to take care we become not astray by the temptations around us.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and as such find the Way to God and the way to God’s Kingdom.

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Preceding articles:

Lonely in the crowd

Misleading world, stress, technique, superficiality, past, future and positivism

Less… is still enough

Less for more

Contentment: The five senses

How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace

See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

The Cares of Life

The natural beauties of life

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

Just be yourself…

A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis

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Find additional literature:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  3. Classes of people and Cronyism
  4. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  5. Because men choose to go their own way
  6. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  7. A risk taking society
  8. What IF you’re only driven by stress?
  9. Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources
  10. How do you keep people from stealing your joy?
  11. 2014 Social contacts
  12. Justififiable anger or just anarchism
  13. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  14. Green Claims in Europe
  15. Greenpeace demands scale up of ecological farming
  16. Happy International Happiness Day!
  17. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  18. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  19. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  20. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  21. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  22. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  23. Lovers of God, seekers and lovers of truth
  24. Fools despise wisdom and instruction
  25. In a world which knows no peace sharing blessed hope
  26. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  27. Cleanliness and worrying or not about purity
  28. Cognizance at the doorstep or at the internet socket
  29. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  30. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  31. Bringing Good News into the world
  32. How should we preach?
  33. Thanksgiving wisdom: Why gratitude is good for your health
  34. Food as a Therapeutic Aid
  35. Remember there’s a light in the next day
  36. It is a free will choice
  37. To know Christ is filling life with meaning
  38. Heed of the Saviour
  39. Songs in the night Worship God only
  40. Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

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15 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Spiritual affairs

Less… is still enough

On the trash of the wealthy the poor try to survive – People who earn their living by collecting and sorting garbage and selling them for recycling, Payatas, Manila, Philippines.

Less… is still enough!

The facts.
The collective wealth of all the Belgian people is more than 2.000 billion euro (De Tijd). The 10 richest families together own almost half of all that wealth (Knack). Yearly in Europe – and you read it correctly – we throw away 590.000.000 ( five hundred and ninety million) tons of food. 20 % of all young people between 13 and 20 years of age  regularly think about suicide (Enquiry National Youth Service).

Are you still following?
Is each one of us not a prisoner of conventions, caught in material things and that what is on the surface? Are the energy we invest in production and the effort we make in order to consume, not out of proportion?

In the middle of progressive thinking the question arises about what proof we need to realise that some thing or other is getting out of hand? To put it in a different way: what else has to happen to us before we come to an insight ? Usually it is difficult to admit that to have ‘more’ and ‘property’ are addictive. With (a little) less it would become quite difficult for some. For the poor without doubt, because they always live with ‘less’.

Professions without borders
This is a televsion programme in which professional people from here go and cooperate with colleagues in far away countries. At the end of their trip, filled with experiences, each one of them nearly always has the same reaction:

Do we really realise what a good life we have in Belgium”?

Confronted with shortage and poverty, ‘people that have a lot’ get to know the inner side of ‘people with less’. The encounter is very emotional and touching. It is ‘enrichment’ that they receive from these ‘poor’ people. Who helps who?

Someone said it as follows:

“Since I live with less, I do not feel the shortage, but rather have the experience of ‘more'”.

Or less is more … or at least enough!

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Translation from the Dutch / Nederlands origineel: Met minder is… nog genoegBzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

 

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Additional reading:

  1. Capitalism
  2. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
  3. Materialism, would be life, and aspirations
  4. Luxury
  5. Capitalism downfall
  6. Increasing wealth gap of immense proportions in the Capitalist World
  7. Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man
  8. European Year for combating poverty spurred mobilisation and commitment
  9. Yad Vashem: Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future
  10. Catherine Ashton on the EU annual report on human rights
  11. Looking to the East and the West for Truth
  12. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #1 Up to 21st century
  13. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #2 First two decennia of 21st century
  14. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  15. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #4 The Family pact
  16. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #5 Housing
  17. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #6 Transport factor of immobilising financial growth
  18. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #7 Education
  19. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  20. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #9 Consumption
  21. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #10 Health
  22. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #11 Participation
  23. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #12 Conclusion
  24. Poverty and measurement
  25. Poverty placed in history
  26. 1985-2012 Poverty in Europe
  27. 2014 Economics
  28. Poverty and conservative role patterns
  29. Ability for a community to come back from a crisis
  30. Bleak forecasts for children in the UK
  31. Violence against disabled children
  32. Anti-Crisis anger calling out
  33. A risk taking society
  34. Securing risks
  35. Green Claims in Europe
  36. A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis
  37. The natural beauties of life
  38. Problems by losing the borders
  39. Migrants to the West #3
  40. US poverty worse than previous recessions
  41. Nearly 50 million poor North Americans
  42. Expanding opportunities for more American families
  43. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  44. Depression Is and When
  45. High time to review the right to keep and bear arms
  46. Your struggles develop your strengths
  47. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  48. From Winterdarkness into light of Spring
  49. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  50. Message of Pope Francis I for the 48th World Communications Day
  51. Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
  52. Full text of Pope Francis’ Interview with ‘La Vanguardia’
  53. When we love we do not need laws
  54. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  55. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  56. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  57. All I want is peace!!!

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  • The Observer view on London’s wealth gap (theguardian.com)
    Striking new figures show that the proportion of households classified as either poor or wealthy has grown across the country in recent decades, leaving a shrinking middle. But it is in London that the trend is by far the most pronounced.

    London is now a city of contradictions. It is the richest part of the country, but also its most unequal, with the highest levels of poverty. It is home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate, but has the highest proportion of renters of any area of the country, many of whom are locked out of home ownership. It has some of the world’s best teaching hospitals, but suffers from profound health inequalities.

  • The Richest Have Never Been Richer: US Household Assets Rise To Record $97 Trillion (As The Poor Get Poorer) (infiniteunknown.net)
    In Q4 US household net worth jumped by $1.5 trillion to $82.9 trillion, driven by a rise in total assets to $97.1 trillion, even as the long awaited increase in “good debt”, that of mortgage debt, remains elusive and Mortgage debt hasn’t budged from $9.4 trillion in 8 quarters
  • In Europe, Parents’ Dismay as Syria Jihad Lures Troubled Teens (voanews.com)
    As Belgium braces for a verdict in Europe’s biggest trial of those accused of fostering Islamist violence in Syria, much attention is on poor Muslim immigrant communities’ struggle in a region blighted by youth unemployment.

    But for parents in Antwerp, a city on high alert since the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and police raids on Belgian jihadists, Wednesday’s ruling by judges there may never explain why their two sporty teenagers, with no Muslim heritage, abandoned comfortable homes to take up arms in the Middle East.

  • Thousands of Belgians protest against austerity measures (worldbulletin.net)
    About 10,000 people have gathered in the Belgian capital of Brussels to protest against the center-right government’s “austerity” measures.

    Workers and labor unions said on Wednesday they had been angered by austerity measures being imposed by Belgium’s new center-right government, which include a two-year extension to the age of retirement, cuts in spending on healthcare and delays to the indexation of wages in relation to prices.

    Between 8,000 and 10,000 people attended the demonstration, local media reported, where protesters held banners reading “No Poverty” and fired smoke flares at a square in central Brussels.

    Belgium’s four-party coalition government under Prime Minister Charles Michel, which took office on October 11, has also pledged to cut corporation tax from 33 percent to 25 percent.

  • Poverty in Germany reaches a record high (counterinformation.wordpress.com)
    “Poverty in Germany has not only reached a new record high, it has also threatened the country with disintegration into disparate regions.” Thus begins the annual poverty report of the German Federation of Welfare Associations.

    Although the economy has grown slightly and unemployment is relatively low, the poverty rate in Germany has increased; it has been rising almost continuously since 2006 and now stands at 15.5 percent. This means that about 12.5 million adults exist on less than €845 per month as unmarried persons or less than €1,873 in a family with two children.

  • Many foreigners escape fines on Belgian roads (deredactie.be)
    Xpats.com’s Robyn Boyle says that at present more often than not it’s only motorists from France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg that have to pay a fine, if they commit a traffic offence in Belgium.
  • 2 suspected Islamic recruiters arrested in Belgium (whitenewsnow.com)
    Belgium has been one of Western Europe’s nations to furnish the large numbers of foreign fighters in Syria relative to population size.
  • A Wealth Tax for California? (sandiegofreepress.org)
    California has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s main poverty measure, 16.8 percent of all Californians and 23.5 percent of the state’s children lived in poverty in 2013. Yet it also has the most billionaires  in the country: 111. The state’s 33,900 millionaire taxpayers  (just .2 percent of the state’s taxpayers) have combined incomes of $104 billion. According to the California Budget Project, California has the seventh widest income gap between rich and poor among the 50 states, ranking between Alabama and Texas.
  • Belgian coin spat awakens ghosts of Waterloo for the French (trib.com)
    Belgium is looking to change a commemorative Waterloo coin to an unofficial value of 3 euros ($3.18) to avoid what it called opposition from France. Coining unofficial values do not need backing from other countries in the 19-nation eurozone.
  • Microcredit Today: The Shift from Lending to Savings (mint.com)
    Increasingly, the world’s poor are able to securely borrow small amounts of money through microfinance institutes. This is proving to be an essential element of growth for poor or rural populations and their businesses.

17 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Economical affairs, Movement Without a Name, Social affairs, Spiritual affairs, Welfare matters

A Snippet of Advice on Cultural Analysis

The technological advancement and technological revolution may have brought lots of advancements to the quality of life. But when we are not careful we are gliding down again becoming to be used as machines, with no respect any more for the value of life and social community. Everything seems to be sacrificed for economical growth.

James E. Addicott

Offered this advice to a student today:

“Imagine you’re in a factory looking at the massive amount of products being churned out by an industrial machine. They are all so multicoloured and so various that trying to take note of them all makes you feed bedazzled. A better approach would be to look at the machine, then the factory, and so on”.

Black Friday Riots at ASDA (Wallmart)

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Filed under Economical affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs

The natural beauties of life

When we look around us we should be able to see all the beauty of nature. But many of us live in cities where we are surrounded by buildings and not much green.

The beautiful nature is given to us freely, but not many people do respect that free gift as such. We, as human beings are also not so keen to use it properly and to take into account that many after us still have to be able to enjoy as much as we did or even more. Often terrible things have to happen before we as human being want to think about what is going on or what our responsibility should be for making sure lots of people can enjoy those treasures of earth.

In many Asian countries several people are already seriously feeling the effects of the industrial revolution and the technical progress of the last two centuries. People may be happy the world advanced so much and that we do have a lot of gadgets which make life so much easier. But in many poor countries those people do not enjoy such modern domestication? Several families  by powerful storms found their riverside home destroyed already more than once. Millions have already lost more than the modest roof over their head. Millions spend their days collecting cow dung for fuel and struggling to grow vegetables in soil poisoned by salt water. They live on borrowed time in a vast landscape of river islands, bamboo huts, heartbreaking choices and impossible hopes.

Government representatives and scientists on Tuesday March the 25th opened a five-day meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to finalize a report assessing the impacts of climate change on human and natural systems, options for adaptation, and the interactions among climate changes, other stresses on societies, and opportunities for the future.

The meeting, the culmination of four years’ work by hundreds of experts who have volunteered their time and expertise to produce a comprehensive assessment, was to approve the Summary for Policymakers of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, checking the text line by line.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) wants to achieve a stabilization of green-house gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
All of us should be aware that limiting the effects of climate change is necessary to achieve sustainable development and equity, including poverty eradication. At the same time, some mitigation efforts could undermine action on the right to promote sustainable development, and on the achievement of poverty eradication and equity. Consequently, a comprehensive assessment of climate policies involves going beyond a focus on mitigation and adaptation policies alone to examine development pathways more broadly, along with their determinants.

We all should also know that we have to take a collective action because we are speaking of problem at the global scale, because most greenhouse gases (GHGs) accumulate over time and mix globally, and emissions by any agent (e.g., individual, community, company,country) affect other agents. International cooperation is therefore required to effectively mitigate GHG emissions and address other climate change issues.

Social, economic and ethical analyses may be used to inform value judgements and may take into account values of various sorts, including human well-being, cultural values and non-human values. But all people should be informed how much they themselves also can contribute to the global effect, even when their personal impact may be very small it is important that everybody does his or her own bit for the protection of the earth.
Awareness and appreciation for the environment is very important, so we should help to get others to be more concious of the importance to safeguard the earth’s future and the future of our children their children.
We would like to present a website where the beauties of nature are nicely presented but where one is not afraid to see behind all that beauty the danger of vanishing worlds. We have evolved far away form the snapshots that have served as surrogates, except perhaps for one surrogate which continues to grow, namely the extended reach of the body’s comprehension of the world.
Doing so more insistently than did other forms of mimetic representation, photography seemed to stand in for the direct, bodily experience of the individual, its lens becoming the roving eye of the beholder. Most obviously one sees this in travel and expeditionary photographs of the nineteenth century, for which skilled professionals travelled forth from Western Europe and the eastern USA to record and bring back views of sites as various as India, the American West and the Middle East. {Oxford Companion to the Body }
Photography, you could say, is the visual medium of this modern world, were events can be captured for the future, but were stories of the past can be a witness of the things human beings did or because they did not want to see, refusing to hear the signs, have been lost for the next generations.
As a means of recording, and as an art form in its own, photography pervades our lives and shapes our perceptions…

A private photobook collector and trader, living in the Netherlands, who has sold many photobooks online (Ebay.nl, Marktplaats.nl & Boekwinkeltjes.nl/Bint) and therefore has also set up a devoted website (see http://bintphotobooks.googlepages.com/)& his Blog (see http://bintphotobooks.blogspot.com/) brings us a variety of artists worth viewing.

We do know that:
“Perception is relative and selective”…If the presenter does not clarify a message, then the receiver imposes his own meaning drawing from his/her experience, needs and expectations.

On his website we can find many beautiful photographs which clearly tell a story which has to be heard by many. Therefore we also like to introduce you to it. Our world is much to important to have it been destroyed by the greed of our consumerism.

The one looking through the lens may capture a whole story in one click and make it easy for others to see that what is behind the picture. Every photographer may put his own statement in the way he looks at things. Behind the pictures may be told also a whole story and the writer of Bint photobooks may carry us away along the threads of reality which often stay hidden for those who live in the cities of the Western world.

In Kadir van Lohuizen: Putting stories into perspective for example we can learn that the celebrated Dutch photographer Kadir van Lohuizen feels that there are many big stories around the world that need to be told and that it is his responsibility to tell them in the right way. He brings us with his camera from the North to the South, from Greenland to Kiribati and Fiji, close to Australia, passing by Panama but also showing us the problems of cities in the United States, like Boston, all places where they feel the rising sees. On the net we also can find some other interesting photographs of professional photographers, like Mitch Zeissler, and non-professional photographers, who do have a very good eye, like Cindy Barton Knoke who is willing to share that what she encounters on her many travels. Having such people willing to share the beauties they managed to see others are allowed to enjoy them too, which is great. This way people who are not in good health or do not have the money or no means to make such trips to far away places can receive their dreams by such bloggers.

Having lots of people living between the structures of living quarters and offices, often confronted with the fumes, dust and pollution, they may value such beautiful countrysides, animals and by Cindy Barton Knoke also beautiful art, which give richness to the world. Those living in countries with wide fields, like in the United States perhaps do not see any sign of pollution in their region, and do think perhaps everything is exaggerated, but when they can see and hear the witnesses of those who can move around, come in different places or do scientific work, they perhaps come to believe that it is really time we do something to protect what we still have. In Belgium we are confronted with pollution and climate change nearly every day, so perhaps the Belgians do feel the urge to look for solutions more than some other citizens.

Climate-Greenland-slide-BJBO-superJumbo.jpgClimate-Greenland-slide-YDQV-superJumbo.jpg
Icebergs in a channel between Greenland’s Eqip Sermia glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord, the most active glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and so many other pictures Bint presents with his article on Kadir van Lohuizen is only showing us the figurative and literal top of the ice sheet melting as a result of climate change.

In 2012 van Lohuizen started project looking into consequences of sea-level rise in the world. Therefore he went to different regions that have been or will be affected quite soon by the rise, and researched where people will have to relocate.

The 50-year-old photographer said he started the project after visiting a delta area in Bangladesh around three years ago, where he was struck by the apparent impact of rising sea levels and noticed that Bangladesh expects to evacuate 30 million people by 2050 due to rising sea levels.

He is also aware that the issue is more urgent than most people assume

“it’s very much knocking on our doors.”

The world has waited already too long before taking the matter serious. Like in most places there has to happen something serious before people do something.

“Too often we start to think about the problem when it has happened, but not before.”

Bint writes

Aiming to raise awareness in the general audience, Kadir hoped that the message would also reach politicians and policymakers.

and gives the word to van Lohuizen who says:

“It’s going to be the biggest problem of the century. It’s not just islands disappearing but also sea water seeping into the mainland, causing soil to become saline, rendering people unable to grow crops and having more difficulty accessing clean water.”

We better make sure others get to know the beauties of nature but also show how endangered the species and our own environment is. We clearly have to share the message of the importance to keep our world in good health.

The "burning embers" diagram above w...

The “burning embers” diagram above was produced by the IPCC in 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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