Advertisers are looking for buyers, telling people that they need the product or service they’ve created. That’s not always a bad thing. But what if we kept our heads a little, and put some space between that “call to need” and the purchase?
I got these giant googly eyes at Target yesterday and now I’m considering where to put them. My son says they should go on the chimney, so it looks like the house is looking at you when you dive up. Brilliant. I was thinking I’d put them on a tree down by the driveway, or maybe staple them to the house number at the road.
These are the things that entertain me. I’ve wanted these for a long time and when I saw them in the store, right at the front, I grabbed them and threw them in the basket. “Need!” I told my son and he agreed.
Then, as he was looking for a good jump rope for his workout (didn’t find), I started thinking maybe I need a new yoga mat. He asked, “Did you come here for new yoga mat? Or did you see those ones and start to think yours wasn’t good enough?” I don’t need a new yoga mat.
This is why I avoid stores unless I need something specific that I think they might have on hand. Walking around a retail store is the same as watching commercials. It convinces you that you need something you didn’t know existed. I was perfectly happy without it, but now that I see it, it would mean the world to me.
Googly eyes aside. THOSE were important.
Side note: Oh my…there’s an instructable to make your own! Do it!
I recently tried this out at a restaurant. A friend wanted to go out for breakfast. I’m trying to watch my calories (and failing miserably in general). I know what I want to eat, what’s good for me and what will make me feel good. But then I get there and flip through the menu. “Oohh! Cinnamon bun! Mocha! Pancakes!” I didn’t want them before I came in, but then saw the pictures and started drooling.
This time I didn’t look at the menu. I ordered the veggie omelet that I know I love, without the potatoes and biscuits that I only eat because they are there. And coffee. HAVE to have coffee. Breakfast was great. The conversation was wonderful. And we had a marvelous time together.
There is a lot in this world screaming at you for your attention, looking for buyers into products and ideas, but there is so little that is actually important. If the economy fails because I don’t eat out, go to events, and buy the latest thing, maybe we built an economy on the wrong things.
I don’t usually write about economics but when I do…
Check out my post “Buddhism, Economics, Racism, And More”