image from slowcoast.ca
I think that we’re desperate for authenticity in our lives.
There is so much that we are surrounded by that doesn’t have any lasting importance.
Why should it? It doesn’t drive the wheels of commerce to have things in the world that satisfy and last forever. How does it sell product if we are happy and contented? The only thing that really greases the wheels of the world are dissatisfaction and longing.
Nature is authentic by default…wood and stone, earth and sky…it doesn’t get much more “real”.
But how do you market that? Location, location, location? We can “own” land…but we can’t ever possess nature. How do you market something that can’t really be bought? We live in it…but we don’t possess it. Do we give a thing that can’t be sold any real value?
We can strip the land of what we perceive to have value…log it, mine it… but we can’t ever possess the spirit of the place…we can’t own Nature.
An advertisement is designed to remind us that we lack the thing that would make us whole.
Because of this, we spend our time surrounded by media that makes us constantly aware of the lack. It invents holes in our lives that we wouldn’t be aware of if we weren’t told that they exist.
How can we feel good about our lives if we haven’t reached the level of consumption that allows us to feel complete? Can we ever have enough if enough is what it takes for us to feel good about our world?
I wonder if the constancy of the whole thing isn’t what saves us…like some deformity that’s always been with us that we just learn to live with, this feeling of never being whole is always around and, even if we were aware of any of the causes, usually ignored. We ignore it because that’s our option for survival…being aware would drive us crazy.
As our income increases it just increases the cost of the “hole fillers”. Instead of worrying about being able to afford the really nice Little Debbie snack cakes, we worry about the home with more status. It doesn’t fix the problem,it just gives us more expensive ways to sooth the symptoms for a while.
So…whether we choose to attempt to be aware or not, the problem exists. We can’t be happy if our needs are always defined by outside sources. We can’t be happy if we aren’t able to say, “Oh…really?” when advertisers tell us that the latest thing will make us whole.