Western civilization has been the leader in the consumer culture. This act of always desiring and consuming extends beyond the physical, it can be for anything; knowledge, health, enlightenment, beauty, love, time etc. But what if we had more than enough? Many of us in developing countries have a lot more than we need. This does not overlook the stark reality of poverty that also exists in the Western world. Poverty is as real as over-consumption. However what struck me recently was how much I do not need in my life. This idea of consumption, of not having enough, of always desiring has provoked me to ask myself where this felt sense of lack comes from.
Consumerism is often vilified. Desire is unholy. However, there are two sides to every coin. The basic act of consumption is and always will be a construct of humanity. Everyday we eat and drink to stay alive, we consume electricity to power our cell phones and we consume air from the atmosphere to breathe. We are made to consume; it is part of the larger design of civilization. However perhaps looking at why we desire, what we are consuming and how much of it we consume is where we might find solutions to the destructive effects of overconsumption. The world cannot keep up with the rate at which we want, desire and consume.
A true antidote to the destructive effects of consumerism and the great sense of lack that extends throughout the world is, Gratitude. It’s one of the oldest remedies for the poor in spirit, the lacking in love, the discontent in health and the depressed in mind. Shifting into a mindset that stems from gratitude changes the structure of one’s reality. Suddenly you wake up and realize you have everything you need for this day. Some people find gratitude through their faith or religion, after surviving a life-threatening catastrophe or even when falling in love. It doesn’t matter where we find gratitude. The most important thing is to remember to thank something or someone every day for doing right by you, for blessing you. What is wonderful about gratitude is that it is limitless. When we start consuming thanks as soul food, we come into the abundance body. The ones who stay grateful no matter the circumstances, often find a silver lining: what they once desired so desperately from a place of ‘lack’ suddenly falls into their laps without even having to try. This is the Gratitude Rx.