I’m sure some folks are going to get aggravated when they read this article, but I feel compelled to write it. I find myself completely appalled at how obsessed we have become with shopping. How or why retailers and those that embrace their goods can think it’s okay to be camping outside a store at midnight to get a TV or other gadget is beyond me. If we look back the process of having to be able to shop any day of the week at any hour has paralleled the loss of connection to spending time with family, friends or even ourselves. Brian Walsh, adjunct professor at the Toronto School of Theology, warns that consumerism is the new idol in our culture. He states that our purpose is to be faithful consumptive units to help feed the global economy. Globalization isn’t just an aggressive stage in the history of capitalism. It is a religious movement of previously unheard of proportions. Progress is its underlying myth, unlimited economic growth its foundational faith, the shopping mall its place of worship, consumerism its overriding image” Stores used to close at five or six and people went home to their families and ate dinner together and chilled out. Then stores stayed opened later but weekends were still freed up. Then Saturday became available and then finally Sunday was added since why should that day be free of being able to purchase something! After all you need to do your part to keep the economy afloat. Well, I’m trying to figure out how I survived my childhood. I never saw anyone walking the streets emaciated because they weren’t able to go to the supermarket on Sunday, nor did any of my family need to take anti-anxiety medication because they couldn’t go to a department store to buy a new piece of clothing. I think we have lost our collective minds. There are many excuses we can come up with for why stores should be open 24/7, but for the most part they’re lame. We may be gratifying some needs or desires by accepting the consumer mentality but we have lost a great deal more. Our financial futures have been compromised, as well as our ability to connect to activities that could serve us mentally, physically and spiritually . But most importantly, it’s only “stuff”, and no one ever gets buried with their stuff, unless you’re a Pharaoh, and their long gone.
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