I’m sure we can all agree that we live in a consumer society. People build their identities around the purchasing and owning of things, be that their own home, or owning the latest iPhone. Personally I tend to identify with my technology, hence my need to have a proper gaming rig, a nice new phone every 2 years, my lovely iPad and I long to get my hands on a pair of Google Glass. We have lived in a consumer society for a long long time, but it is only with the invention of the car that you really see this trend of establishing your identity with products.
This is all well and good, but what has this to do with independence or any of the other subject mentioned in this blog? Simply this. A culture of consumerism especially the hectic consumerism we live with where products have lifespans oh months or years before being outdated lends itself to a society entirely lacking in compassion as everyone struggles to keep up. All money earned needs to go towards bills, debt, rent, or that new purchase they simply must have. Charity seems like a totally unnecessary drain on income that could be going towards more immediate and personal purchases.
It impacts on people not planning for their retirement and it certainly impacts peoples opinion on welfare reforms. “why should my tax money go towards someone who doesn’t work? They are just lazy and bone idle.”
One of the frequent cries from people voting no is that ‘why would I vote yes? I’m okay’ I don’t think that people realise that people are only okay until they aren’t. Perhaps they are involved in an accident or gain some other sort of life altering illness. Maybe their employer goes out of business and they can’t find a job in their field. Then they may regret not taking this golden opportunity for transformitive change while they had the chance. Don’t assume that because everything is okay for you now means that it will always be okay and don’t condemn the people who aren’t okay because you are too blind to see past your own personal gratification.