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  • Writer's pictureLES HENSON

The Cost of Over Consumption

Updated: May 28, 2020

In the consumer-orientated society in which we now live consumption, and the making of money are central to the system. We are always encouraged to consume more and more. So we end up purchasing stuff that we, neither need nor will ever use more than once if we use it at all. Likewise, everything is made with built-in redundancy so that we will keep on buying the same old stuff or a newer version of it over and over again. When consumption and the making of money are central to our lifestyle, they become idols. They reduce us to instruments of a social and economic system, which is typified by gross inequalities. Consequently, whatever is not useful is discarded, including people who can no longer keep up or are past their used-by-date.

The cost of the stuff we purchase is higher than the purchase price. It includes the injustice done to the poor who work at slave rates so that we in the West can maintain our over-indulgent lifestyle. The cost also comprises of the exclusion of those who can’t keep up with mainstream society. Likewise, it involves the spiritual degradation of those consumed by consumption. Indeed, whenever our inner lives become caught up in stuff and our own self-interest, then there is no place for others in our lives, particularly the poor. Finally, we might add the cost of overconsumption to the well being of the planet on which we live.

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