Consuman / by KR


Kieron Dwyer's "Consumer Whore"
Originally uploaded by heyrog.
“When we have been turned into consumers we are lowered from being men and women, thinking human beings. - L’Engle The Irrational Season (The Crosswicks Journal, Book 3)

Stumbled on this one looking for something else. But it caught my eye by virtue of where our world is at. If you watch the news they go on and on about how we are in something worse than the Great Depression. I don’t watch the news much because of this, and, so, I am not fanned to the flames of panic and fear, as if the world were coming to an end. And I am not wealthy, so I don’t have a lot of money to spend on the next big thing, (regardless of what Steve Jobs taunts me with)

But I must confess that I have been more a consumer than I’d like to admit. So, the late great writer’s words make me a little uncomfortable… and spark a desire to be a little more human.

It got me thinking about the natural downturn our economy has taken and how despite all the difficulties, it might be a good thing to be reminded that we are not just consumers. See, the problem with living in a Free Market Economy and our Capitalism, is that in order for them to work the people must buy things, must become consumers. I am not saying that Socialism makes us more human, either. But I must wonder if our whole worldview is based on buying and selling, what must that do to our souls? How must that effect our humanity? So do we not lose ourselves if all we ever do is buy and sell in order to buy and sell more? Madeleine knew what she was talking about when she said we are “lowered from being men and women.”

For all the papers and PhDs that will be made off our current economic reality, I’d hope that someone writes about how we became more human and less consuman; that they would have example after example of men being men and women being women while every talking head rambled on about a falling sky on Wall Street. Certainly we are far more than the things we own, the stuff we buy…