Saturday, June 24, 2006


From Wikipedia: (

Affluenza is a term used by critics of consumerism. It is a portmanteau word formed by the contraction of affluence and influenza. Sources define this term as follows:-

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more. (de Graaf, 2002)
affluenza, n. 1. The bloated, sluggish and unfulfilled feeling that results from efforts to keep up with the Joneses. 2. An epidemic of stress, overwork, waste and indebtedness caused by dogged pursuit of the American Dream. 3. An unsustainable addiction to economic growth. (PBS)

And to think, as part of the American middle class, this is what "we" strive for!
Our entire lives are influenced by this overabundance. We ahve an overabundence of things and food. Why do you think that we are so fat as a culture? mos tof us do not know how to go without. Instead of dessert as a treat, it is a mainstay of diet. So and so gets ice cream, so I should to. But, not only will I get ice cream, I will make it a super sundae. It makes me think of the commercial of the man who is riding a lawn mower and exclaiming that he has such a house, a swimming pool, a boat (or whatever else he has), etc and up to his eyeballs in debt. Someone help! It irks me. Why be like that?

Okay, so I am living minimally - purchasing food that I know we will eat (and trying to plan meals so that we have no food waste). I am not purchasing anything that I do not need, etc. So, why can I make comments about affluenza? Because I was there. Before I married my spouse, I was consumed with wanting to consume. My life and money became about getting the newest tool or gadget available. Necessary? Very few of the items were. I was there - and I accumluated the debt that went along with it. It feels great to get all of these things, but it also feels horrible to have all of these unnecessary things. They weighed me down. I worried about paying the bills that piled up from trying to purchase these items. It was fun to buy at the time, but not fun to live with the ramificaitons.

I am so much happier not to be living like that. It is ironic to think that I was living like that when I could not afford it. Now that I can, I do not.

I think it is okay to purchase things, but purchase wisely. What sense is it to purchase something that will only last 2 years rather than 20. I would rather save the money and purchase something for the long haul - and then take care of it. Our society is made up of all of these disposable items. Think about what you have and what will last 20 years. Do you really need that cz (cubic zirconium [sp]) encrusted cell phone? LOL!

Do you think that it will be cool to live with less? It doesn't matter to me if I am cool or not, but it would be nice for our society to think more about family, friends, and neighbors, than competing with one another!

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