The Joy of Being Alive vs. Consumer Culture

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for the delay in posting, especially since there have been so many things going on in the news lately.  Life has been busy with much travel, new job, young child and various social engagements where young children come to my place, throw things on the floor and make lots of noise.  LOL  (All good fun though)

Just wanted to throw out a few thoughts, insights from the past few weeks.

1.  Life

I was sitting on a hotel patio in Cabo San Lucas a few weeks ago to watch the sunrise.  It had just begun when a gnat began hitting me in the face.  As I swatted at this creature I began to pay less attention to the sunrise.

Then I had a quite profound insight that you only get during these moments.

Simply being alive is a wonderful, glorious thing.  In each of our lives we will have problems, minor distractions.  If we pay too much attention to these small distractions we will miss the entire point and purpose of being alive.  We should be happy, we should enjoy this existence and if we pay attention to the immense beauty of simply being alive then our short life will be a successful one, even if small problems come along once in a while.

2.  Occupy Wallstreet

I am very much enjoying all these protests and the attention they are receiving.  I think it is a natural outcome of the many injustices that have come to many populations recently.  I think the overriding issue is that business and the single minded pursuit of higher profits is unsustainable.  The current corporate model is simply to drive those profits higher and higher which in theory is not inherently a “bad” thing.  However, when business has bought the Democratic process (Citizens United) and the motivation to simply sell more has overtaken what is good for the individual, consumer, community through deceptive sales tactics then things need to change.

I am in sales and understand very clearly that we are simply to sell more regardless of the sale being in the best interest of the consumer or not.  Not every consumer can understand all the complexity and is able to make the best decision.  Further, the industries become too powerful, even more so than governments (buying governments – Citizens United) and are able to trap consumers into paying more than they should.


1.  Telecoms – Why do we need to pay $150 for a basic family plan?  More competition would be better but we are left with only a few choices who have unspoken agreements to drive the cost very high.  We need a cell phone in this age and thus must shell out major cash to have one.

2. Mortgages – People trust that the institution is looking out for their best interest.  The sales people at these institutions know that they are rewarded on the amount of sales instead of the quality of the sales.

3.  Credit Cards – How many offers have you received in the past week?  Why is the standard setting on paying the minimum amount?  Yes, people should have individual responsibility with less government control but these companies know quite well that the many, who pay way too much in interest should be informed that their situation is not a desirable one.  The individual companies should take some responsibility here.  Not everyone is capable of making good decisions.

Finally, when corporations have bought the government, are gouging their customers AND STILL ALMOST FAIL anyway due to reckless risk AND ARE BAILED OUT by the same people they are gouging (tax payers) there should be some give and take!

But this has not happened.  They simply took the bailouts, continued to gouge customers even more and have not contributed back to the community which saved them.

In short, there is no accountability in these corporations that have now been deemed “People.”  Corporations are not people, as a regular person with human emotions might show a bit of gratefulness, a bit of gratitude for being saved from bankruptcy.

The government tried to throw in some regulations (especially in the banking arena) but this only caused them to find ways to keep their pre-recession profit levels incredibly high at the expense of consumers.  Couple that with massive bonuses for their CEOs who caused the mess in the first place, well, this has caused the masses stomach to completely turn.

It is time for a bit of protest in my opinion.  Things do need to change but whether or not a few protests can stop this relentless drive for higher profits at all costs remains to be seen.  Money and profit has been King since the 1980’s in the USA and it may be hard to return to a more equal society where more emphasis is put on the betterment of the community rather than a few people becoming obscenely wealthy.

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/