December 22, 2012

The Problem With The Consumer Rat Race

Happiness is always just around the corner in the consumer rat race maze

In the consumer rat race, happiness is always just out of reach. The next purchase, vacation, gift, or dollar earned, all promise happiness, but they never quite deliver. After a transitory sensation of fulfillment, we launch the pursuit of the next conduit to bliss. We are stuck in the maze.

Benjamin Hoff, in the "Tao of Pooh", describes the situation many will experience during the holidays.
"The Christmas presents once opened are Not So Much Fun as they were while we were in the process of examining, lifting, shaking, thinking about, and opening them. Three hundred sixty-five days later, we try again and find that the same thing has happened. Each time the goal is reached, it becomes Not So Much Fun, and we're off to reach the next one, then the next one, then the next."
To escape the trap of the consumer lifestyle, we can choose the door that leads out of the maze, and into a more simple life. Ahh, instant relief.

I would rather sleep on the ground and be free, than sleep in a comfortable bed in captivity in an economic lab experiment. When we escape the maze we can stop chasing.

It is when we stop chasing that we start finding. We start finding ourselves. We start finding people that we love, and that love us. We start finding community, and a revitalized relationship with nature.

We start finding happiness.


  1. I was high flyer and very happy for many years.
    Every day was great I did what I loved.
    One day I got bored with everything.
    Now I live a very simple life(I think)
    I work a few days a week(for my self)like before
    because I love what I do.
    I eat plain food ,wear plain and comfortable ,
    live in clean place in a small country town,no need to go in the shops,just for food or books.
    Few days a week I live in a big city,never I get stupid urge to go in the shops.
    I do not use credit cards just cash

    1. We also live in a small town. The grocery story and the library are two places we like to go.

      Congratulations on being contented and happy with your simple life.


    1. My dad had an elderly friend he took for lunch semi-regularly. He would always phone her two weeks ahead and set a meeting time so that they could both anticipate the day as it drew closer.

  3. namakemono12/23/2012

    That cartoon is so true! I am getting sick of running through the maze, but it is so hard to get out...

    1. Hard, yes. Impossible, no.

      Worth it? Indeed!

  4. Have you ever seen the movie "They Live"? This cartoon reminds me a lot of it. It came out in 1988, but it almost seems as if it's more relevant today. I know people who work their butts off to buy the latest iPad and keep up with the most current technology and's so sad that so many don't seem content with the simple things in life.


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