As we go through our daily lives in America, we are confronted from every side with television and radio commercials, Internet pop-ups, magazine and newspaper ads, billboards, and even advertisements on clothes. It seems that we can’t go anywhere or do anything without being told about or shown some item that we must have to be a happy person. Even with all the trappings of the American lifestyle, it seems that there is always more that we are supposed to have in order for us to be happy. And it is never enough. There isn’t a commercial that ends with, “if you already use a competitor’s product, then you don’t need ours!” Each commercial makes the case that if you don’t have their product, then your life isn’t fulfilling or rewarding, your life is empty and meaningless without their product.
There are many types of products that advertisers make you feel that you can’t live without. If the commercials we are bombarded with daily are any indication, the most important decision you can make in a day is which brand of toothpaste or dishwasher liquid to buy. There are only so many chances you have to buy the perfect thing that you or your loved one just can’t live without and if you don’t buy it NOW NOW NOW, then life as you know it ceases to be.
A new car is a necessity for every 16-year-old, regardless of the parents’ ability to pay. If you don’t buy your teenager a car for their 16th birthday, then you are a bad, mean, horrible parent who wants your child to have a miserable life.
If you don’t get your wife that huge diamond ring that shows how special she is to you, even if you have to pawn your car to do it, then your wife isn’t special to you and you might as well start get used to sleeping on the couch. For the rest of your life. Or just starting looking for divorce attorneys. I mean, really, just go to Jared. Happy Wife, Happy Life, right?
You can’t afford to buy your husband the giant riding lawn mower with cup holders, built-in massage chair, and Wi-Fi capabilities? Then you must be the worst wife since Eve ate the apple and got her whole family kicked out of their home and into the wilderness without even a refrigerator, a microwave, or a dishwasher!
When you think about the ridiculousness of these examples, just remember, don’t let this work on you! You know that your life is whole, wonderful, and complete, or if it isn’t, no amount of things will make it so. Appreciate what you have and work for what you need, but don’t let anyone tell you that you are less for not filling your life with things!