Let me describe the purchase pattern I tend to have these days. I’ve got paper and plastic in my pocket, so I feel secure. I’ve got a phone with all my social media accounts to check if I feel lonely. That makes me feel … well … secure. I have this degree, that work experience and even a few people that can vouch for my good name. Should I simply relax and fee secure already?

My local supermarket is nice. Odds are it’s just like your local supermarket. Even is generally where you remember it was. Other than seeing some of your usual purchases hiked up in price, there’s little in the way of surprises. It’s not just a place to purchase your meals, smokes and a few snacks. It’s a security blanket. I see the cashiers there more often than I see my parents.

It’s the same familiar feeling when purchasing anything else. It’s a simple recipe really. It involves a bit of thinking on my part. Nothing too fancy, or that would involve much responsibility. After all, a pair of jeans can just be replaced and I’ll get my favourite brand of cereal next time if they’re out of it today. It involves paying for the items with money I’ve earned. And if the reward of confirming that I’m a decent citizen, making a decent living was not enough, I get the extra treat of taking the items home. I feel all so complete.

Until my fridge, cupboards and dresser are empty again. So, I go and stack up again. My soul may feel a little empty sometimes and I know the purchases act like a small adrenaline shot. The same lookout-choice-purchase pattern. It’s a good recipe that works just about any time and takes the place of something more substantial until that can be found.

Only that in the constant rush to fill up time, space and our lives themselves with things, we rob ourselves of the time and energy to ever really go searching for something more substantial.

 

This is a guest post from a music enthusiast and a social observer. 

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