Growth is the most important word for everyone these days. How do we define growth? Simplistically, the amount of money we earn. As it increases, we are growing. And for others to grow, we need to spend. Velocity of money, isn’t it? Surprising though that in a world as divergent as the human race, money has become the sole parameter to define and measure growth. It doesn’t matter what we do to the environment. It doesn’t matter about the deep chasm between the haves and the have not’s. Ethics, values, compassion, love are all kept as ornaments on the mantle. It is not needed on an everyday basis. Use it as we deem fit for our comfort.
Why are we moving towards such a consumption mindset, if we already not were? Why do we require material assets to be happy? The demon of inflation never had so much of fury than it is now. We are all defined by governments as economies rather than societies. What we offer to the world in terms of supplies and how much we consume show our place in the world pecking order.
Thus we have the Thanksgiving or Black Friday sale in the US, the Dubai Shopping festival, and a host of online sales by retailers at deep-discounts.
This brings up the question of online retailers which are the biggest thing in India currently. We have India’s locally grown flipkart closely followed by US giant amazon and other local players such as jabong, snapdeal, indiatimes among others. Every other day there is a big sale announced. The USP of these online retailers is less price vis-à-vis brick-and-mortar stores. And that too from the comfort of the house without having to venture out. This saves us a lot of time. But by saving the time, what good are we doing? Do we go out and play sport? Do we read more books-online or offline? Do we spend time with our family or friends? Do we explore nature? Do we go out and help the needy? Then why are we saving time. What is our achievement in saving time. This is least of the problem. The problem lies because the kind of promotional activities that are done makes one wonder how did we all survive and make purchases when online world wasn't there. We are enticed into buying a host of goodies which you would not bought in the first place were it not for the low price and deep discount. You begin to wonder that do we buy because we need it or want it or desire it or just because we are getting it at a low price.
In the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, after the first two stages, there has to be a third stage of deep discount. We all are swayed immensely by low prices. Digging deeper, one feels that consumerist mindset isn’t the real problem here. The real problem is our disillusionment with the world and our surroundings. There is lack of empathy among people. Tolerance levels have reached its nadir. And therefore we find gratification when we are in possession of physical objects. We love that object more than the people surrounding us. Why? Because the object behaves as we want it to. It doesn’t expect from us. Whereas people expect from us. Thus it is easy to be in the arms of a dispassionate object than having to make sacrifices or leeways with our loved ones.