Most western societies are capitalist in nature. Capitalism is on the whole a zero-sum game – for you to win, someone else has to lose. So, if we are continually engaged in a game, how can we ever afford to rest and be at peace? In any game, the player that rests on his or her laurels and stops ‘playing’, loses. Does this mean we can never truly be at peace with ourselves in a capitalist society?
We are continually bombarded with the indulgences of consumer capitalism. We aspire to upgrade our car, buy that new flash watch, book that next exotic holiday. These aspirations take time to fulfil and on the whole our decisions to indulge in such purchases are based on our performance in our jobs and careers. So we get promoted and the extra amount on the pay cheque at the end of the month goes toward ‘rewarding’ ourselves in the form of materialism, as opposed to setting it aside to say developing a plan for financial freedom (that’s a topic for a different blog in its own right). But the crux of the issue is how can we ever live in the moment and enjoy it, when we are conditioned to forever strive for that next purchase or that upgrade in lifestyle? The marketing function of the capitalist system has so sophisticatedly and intrusively infiltrated our psyche, that our default stance is to look forward at the expense of the moment. The very same organisations that propagate this sentiment not only benefit from raiding our wallets, but do so by stealing something infinitely more precious than our money…. our time.