Some people point out how consumerism harms nature, and how it led to the emergence of COVID-19 and other negative phenomena.
They encourage putting a stop to our culture of shopping and returning to a past form of sustainable living.
I see such a motion of “getting by with what we have” as unnatural and unsustainable, because our very nature demands enjoyment.
Our desires have developed since the days we lived in caves, where we only lived according to our base animal needs for food, sex and family. Since then, we have developed desires for money, respect, control and knowledge, all kinds of real social needs that make us go shopping, travel the world and entertain ourselves in myriad ways.
Is there a problem with these desires?
The problem is not with the desires to enjoy ourselves, but in the intention we apply upon the desires.
As COVID-19 has increased awareness of our interdependence and interconnectedness, then we can say that anything we do in alignment with our interdependence acts positively, and anything we do against our interdependence acts negatively.
In other words, if we buy, sell or create goods and/or services that aim at bettering our increasingly tightening connections, then such acts are beneficial.
On the contrary, if we buy, sell or create goods and/or services with the intent to place ourselves on a higher pedestal than others, building our success on their ruin, then such acts are detrimental to society, and ultimately, also to ourselves.
Therefore, the problem is not with our consumerist habits of buying and selling, but of the intention that fuels these habits.
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