In the beginning of time there weren’t many humans, but trees were many, and these trees bore edible fruits. And so, the humans started consuming them.
Then, with their stomachs full, they started creating babies. The babies grew up into adults and they started having babies of their own. This went on until the number of humans overshot the number of trees.
Now the humans started forming tribes and started fighting with each other for the land with most trees. After much fighting, they started pondering upon the futility of contesting with their brothers, for the right to consume from nature.
This churning of minds gave birth to the “do it yourself (DIY)” attitude. They became convinced that to survive, they would need to stick together, and find their own food. This was entailed by the development of hunting techniques and the crafting of hunting weapons.
But, during the hunting process, man found that he was losing many brothers to the teeth of wild animals. Something needed to be done.
He went into mode of deep introspection. He and his brothers entered the DIY workshop again. And after much experimentation came about the agricultural revolution.
With the onset of agriculture, man created civilisations. From civilizations came cities. Then the industrial revolution happened. And the rest is history.
In this magnificent story of man successfully taking the helms of his own destiny, we find much inspiration. We are most inspired by the human ingenuity sprouting up from the DIY attitude. An attitude which propelled mankind into industrious dexterity.
Yet today, in the 21st century, the average man finds himself as inert, unimaginative and clumsy. He has become uncreative, a compulsive slave to the consumerist market, almost zombie-like.
This is because he faces no adversity that might make him exercise his intellect. As, only in challenging situations does man find the need to toughen up and be creative, and now he faces none. There’s a quote by “G. Michael Hopf” in his novel, “Those Who Remain”.
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”
-G. Michael Hopf
This quote perfectly sums up my point. The man of today does not face a crisis on the outside. But a crisis inside. Which is essentially an existential crisis. A crisis brought on by the dearth of challenges. This has caused the DIY attitude in him to die down. And so, he has turned to consumerism instead. Some examples are:
A man no longer feels the need to prepare the tasty Lebanese dish he craves for. He orders it instead.
He no longer sits patiently and spends time introspecting while commuting on the subway. He watches a movie on his smart phone instead.
Neither does he wish to walk to his bus station. He books a ride on an app instead.
He has thousands of friends on his social media account. But has few genuine ones in reality.
Now, this does not mean that the products in the consumerist markets are evil. It only means that the fixation, the new age man has with his one-click solutions, is evil. If only, he stops consuming so mindlessly and starts creating value in his life, he would feel the difference.
So, to stop consuming and start creating, one should:
Meditation helps in understanding and eliminating the existential crisis in oneself. This crisis is a consequence of too much pacification of the senses though consumption. More often than not, to the point of saturation. Having reached this point the person finds that nothing makes him happy anymore. Giving rise to depression and melancholia. Through meditation, a person finds meaning in life and starts being creative again.
Adopt the DIY attitude
It’s worth challenging oneself. As has been mentioned before, challenges bring out the best in men. For example, the next time you feel like buying a wooden furniture. Do not go to a carpenter. Start learning carpentry and make one yourself. The feeling after that would be amazing.
Be mindful of mindless consumption
One needs to develop the habit of being constantly aware of the mindless consumer triggers, in his mind. Since consumerism has turned us into such compulsive buyers, its only advisable that we act accordingly.
Not Be too hard on Oneself
Most importantly, if one takes this article too seriously, he might miss the point. DIY attitude is not always about preparing your own meals and never ordering one; or always trying to make friends in real life and never on social media apps. Rather, it aims to increase the self-worth of the practitioner. By inspiring him to break free from the stranglehold of the consumer culture, through the practice of creative pursuits.
Being a consumer is not a bad thing per say. But being a compulsive consumer is. In such a case the person devolves into a mindless zombie devoid of any creativity or radiance in life.
Therefore, practicing the points in the article should help you stop being a mindless consumer. And start creating the values you so desperately seek in life.
Have a nice day!!