We all know it really, it is dissatisfaction that sells. The quenched don’t buy drink, the satiated don’t buy food and once you have everything you need then all that is left is stuff that you don’t.
Of course, most of us have passed the point of having met our basic needs a long time ago. Very little of what we purchase outside of the bottom section of Maslow’s pyramid, is needed. It is wanted or desired and is bought to pander to our lust and greed.
We are constantly bombarded though the media with messages that highlight our own inadequacies. The car we drive, the clothes we wear and the houses we live in are simply not good enough. If only we bought their product, made use of their service, or had that procedure we would have it all, the dream lifestyle, the trophy partner and the perfect physique.
Like an addiction, the thrill of the initial hit never lasts and it never quite achieves the ecstasy we were hoping for.
And it is an addiction. We are addicted to dissatisfaction which forces us to remain in a constant cycle of over-consumption and waste. We cannot see it. We always want more and we convince ourselves that we need it or even worse, somehow deserve it and the market is always there to meet our cravings.
As in many things in life we are stuck in a system that we take to be reality and don’t have the intellect to think of, or stomach, an alternative. Capitalism and consumerism are such a part of the modern psyche of the Western World that we cannot see it for the card trick that it is. Allan Kaprow put it nicely: ‘We are led to believe, by no one in particular, that this was the thing we wanted all along.’
Don’t let it get you down. Purchasing that thing won’t solve your problems.