Emotions are what make us human. Our feelings and wish to feel good about ourselves motivate us in everything we do. Where we live, the people we choose to be with the clothes we wear, the foods we eat, it all comes down to how these things make us feel. We define ourselves by our ‘things’ more than who we really are and our perception of ourselves motivates us in everything we do. As civilization has progressed, with it are the things that we soon become slaves to. Owning the newest car, living in the biggest house and wearing the latest styles. Through strategic marketing, the media sells us these things we are supposed to need. In reality however, we really just want lots of these things, we really don’t need very much. Our basic needs in life are food, shelter, clothing and companionship. Technology has become such a staple in society that the kids today could not even imagine a world without cell phones, IPODs and computers. They believe they need these things to survive. Maybe this is the evolution of society, or maybe this is its’ downfall. The economic crisis the world is now dealing with began with people not being accountable for their financial decisions and all the ‘needs’ people had. Whether it was Wall Street executives looking to pocket insane amounts of money without caring where the money came from, the homeowners who lived well beyond their means in order to live in homes they could not afford, or anyone who maxed out a credit card in order to take the greatest vacation, wear the latest fashion or drive the coolest car, it was a societal norm to live beyond your means. Somewhere along the line we lost accountability. Being accountable for one’s own actions. If you can’t afford something, don’t buy it! If you made a bad choice, don’t own up to it, blame it on someone else. Pass the buck and expect someone else to bail us out. We are now faced with a staggering financial crisis that affects everyone. No one is immune from it as we have now become a slave to it. So we will watch on television the turmoil in Wisconsin and around the world with disbelief. We all have an opinion about it, but the basic premise is everyone has to now make sacrifices since we no longer can afford what once was. We never could afford what once was, and just as a magician does sleight of hand tricks in order to fool the audience, the maneuvering of money, credit and wealth were merely tricks to convince the masses that wants were really needs and that money and credit were endless and limitless. These things which cost people homes, jobs and sanity were supposedly there to make us feel ‘good’. I am sure if we could turn back the hands of time to before this mess began, many might agree that not ‘owning’ all those things and spending beyond our means felt good. The problem is we did not recognize what feeling good was when we actually did.
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