Tag Archives: Material things

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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16 Comments

Filed under Economical affairs, Lifestyle, Spiritual affairs

Less for more

After World War II we did not have so much at school and had to sit with three on one bench having just one book for three pupils. We never felt it as something missing. Though the Germans had first confiscated many assets of my family and the allied forces stolen and destroyed lots of things in the family houses, because the Germans had made their quarters in it, I had not to complain about shortage in my parents house. I had the blessing to be brought up in a wealthy family.

In our house we had no lack of material things, but our parents learned us to share and to respect all the personal in the house who took care of us, the maids, matrons, teachers, cooks, gardener and labourers. Though I do agree we were made clear of the difference of class and if we made friends they had first to be approved of by the pater familias, the father and boss in the house. We were brought up and formed by ideas of class systems, knowing very well the difference between the propertied, the underclasses or lower classes and higher classes.  I, myself left the path of family tradition and went a total different way, with the consequences of seeing black snow at certain moments and having to work hard and long hours to make a decent living. With no regret, because I still would choose for the profession I have enjoyed a lot.

From a lot, I came in a big less … but I did not loose much. In a certain way I think I have gained a lot. The only thing I regret most is that I still can not afford to buy our very good own family wines and I dare not to visit the castles of some cousins. But what I can see, that many families have gone far away from their previous positions of the 19th and 20th century. The 21st century has brought a lot less for most of them.

Noticeable is that we can see a lot of new rich, who have a total different mentality than my grand-grand parents, grand parents and parents. Today we also find a nivelation from the categories who were divided in the golden sixties, noticing the rich from then more ‘poverised’ and not able any more to have so much personal to keep the house(s) and ground(s). But the previous rich and great families had ethics and rules of living which by the present new rich seem to be not known.

By the young we see a lot of youngsters who love to have a lot and best all the newest things, because something having of an older version is not cool and just not done. Many eyes today are on what is presented by the glossy magazines and by the television and computer screens.

English: Amish couple shopping in Aylmer, Onta...

Amish couple shopping in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lots of parents feel a pressure by the media giving them a bad feeling if they not provide enough for their kids. Many parents seem to get not only a bad feeling, but a guilty feeling. It is like their kids would be missing something & would look back at it as a sad memory. Many parents have fallen in the trap of commercialism and are going for spending a ton on things they not necessarily need and worse also on ‘things that don’t matter’ like ‘goodie bags’ people always forget to take.

Luckily we may notice some shift in behaviour by some people. It might well be some consumers become more aware of their impact on our environment.

Would it not be better if more people would come back to their senses and consider only buying those things they necessary need and those things that really can improve their quality of life?  It is good to see that there are more people who want to shift their focus and who want a simpler life.

We should be much more aware of our own impact on our environment. We also should take up our own responsibility for the protection of our own environment and for the future of our next generations. When we commit to living a simpler life, we can commit ourselves to get rid of, stop doing, and not including things that don’t bring us happiness, have a meaning in our lives, or does something positive for us. By doing so you will find out that you also shall get rid of the distractions, the noise, & the clutter in your life.

But do know simple living isn’t only about material things. As I started of, remembering the stories which filled our life, traditions which formed us, it was all about a life style of the mind, a feeling which made us to take on the required attitude. We as children had to behave decently and live according to family laws. They ordered life. And this ordering seems to be gone, because there are no laws or rules which are respected and kept by people. Most people have no religion guiding them and the laic or secular conventions have thrown over board the ethics of good and right living. Though the good living and respectful living is a frame of mind, a train of thought that requires us to examine our lives on a daily basis and eliminate things that aren’t working for us physically, mentally, & spiritually.

We should not be afraid to do shortage on our children. It is wrong to think you do short by not giving in on the new trend or new ‘revelation of the season’.  The market wants us to buy everything it can offer. The managers do want our money spend on utilities but also on things we do not really need. Our world has become build on sandcastles. The danger is that the dream and soap-bell are going to burst, not so far in future.

The youngsters today got chained by their i-phones, i-pads, beatiful cars which can ride much faster than is allowed, think they have much choice in the shops and eating places, but have no eye for the real quality of the goods. They became blinded by and for many things.

It is up to their parents, grand parents and their real friends to open their eyes again and to bring them to understand that we are better only to buy those things which were made by people who were fairly paid and were no damage was done to either animal, plant, man or the environment (water and air). We all should come to respect nature much more and should also to come to respect those who make all those things. what I notice today, is that there is no respect at all any more for those who do the dirty work. And that is where our society has gone wrong.

They all were envying the place of some in our society, who had grounds and houses and who gave work at people. They all nurtured people in government to enrich themselves. Now we are facing greedy governments which charge taxes, which make labour to expensive and contribute to less people at work and less people able to make themselves a proper living. The greed of some made the economical world to collapse. And the protective hands of those in parliament, made that it even could happen that those who mocked up the system got bonuses. And nobody seem to have cared, because they were all so busy with themselves only looking at themselves, only concerned about themselves.

The egoism with the want for more has taken mankind and made them to shut their eyes for realism and for the truth of natural laws and ecological matters. As such they all started to poison themselves (literally). The more is giving them less in the end.

Whilst the world should know that there are better options. We do not have to go to find our food miles and miles away from where we live. We do not have to find cheap labour to soothe our mind not having slaves working for us. We do not need slaves and we do not need to be independent on other continents. If we really take care we can provide enough for each of us in our own environment, not damaging our and others their environment.

We can see a lot of literal and figurative bulimia. It is time that we come to consume less and take at heart:

“Less is more”

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Preceding article: Less… is still enough

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Additional reading:

  1. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  2. Gender connections
  3. Self inflicted misery #2 Weakness of human race
  4. We all have to have dreams
  5. Forward ever backwards never!
  6. Luxury
  7. Scepticals of the Bible
  8. Watch out

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20 Comments

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

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.

18 Comments

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