How do consumption and happiness relate?

In our life, we are actually surrounded by consumerism. We find advertisement everywhere. There is probably not going to be one day where we are not going to find a form of an advertisement in our daily life. Products can be advertised through different ways such us: billboards, newspapers, the Internet, store windows flaunt the newest phone, and the coolest new drink. Thinking of “consumption and happiness” has two meanings either consumption leads to happiness or not. Happiness to most of us is to satisfy our need with material things. However, consumerism is a huge issue in our society today. As consumers, we have the power to handle the issue and stop it, not just place the blame. First step, if we want to solve the issue is that we have to change our thinking of the words important and essential because we have become confused by the difference between needs and wants. Author Gregg Easterbrook suggests, “The blurring of needs and wants is important because needs can be satisfied. A person needs food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, and transportation; once attained, these needs are fulfilled. Wants, by contrast, can never be satisfied. The more you want, the more likely you are to feel disgruntled; the more you acquire, the more likely you are to feel controlled by your own possessions.” As the figure bellow shows the Maslow’s Pyramid of Human Needs, which represents five levels of needs, which was proposed in the past when consumption had different meaning than today. Thus, we could re-interpret the theory of human needs from a high- consumption perspective. For example, some of us instead of eating and buying only the necessary, they do the opposite, they eat and buy exclusive stuff. Consumption has became a big issue in our society because it could create a fog which leads to not allow us to see the most goal, which is self-actualization, which is the last level on the Pyramid of Human Needs. Lastly, I believe that the issue of materialism can be resolved with the power.

 

800px-maslows_hierarchy_of_needssvg

Reference:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chip-conley/consumed-by-our-wants-the_b_167352.htm

  • Rawan Algahsan
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