Writer: Xolile Charles Mphokela
The youth of today are entrapped in the luxurious prison of fame; they often feel that lacking material things makes them subservient beings. Their idea of happiness is to become visual corporate commodities. Their only goal in life is to be seen en masse. I am also guilty of falling victim to such inhumane culture that embraces materialistic values; however I began to do introspection and really looked at where i went wrong. I too had fallen victim to pettiness, petulance, selfishness and short-sightedness. The time had come for me to examine whether this is the kind of image and lifestyle I want to bequeath to future generations.
Having the latest gadgets or branded clothing does not make one superior or special than the next person. This epitomizes the corruption of minds and souls in the pursuit of an ignoble effort to perpetrate further the burden of putting their parents and themselves in a never ending cycle of debt. The populace of today wants to emulate the celebrities they see on TV and many other mediums, negating their own principles, beauty and ideals. Day in and day out we are exposed to human infomercials in a form of celebrities who further endorse the culture of consumerism and materialism.
We are fast becoming a product of microcosm of a bloated egotistical, materialistic system. This inhumane system continues to flourish due to the fact that nothing is done to stop it from further devouring ability to discern reality from illusion. It is now time for us to reflect on where it all went wrong, to enable us to rectify where we missed the mark. We shouldn’t hesitate to crush this evil culture in whatever form it manifests itself. Brands shouldn’t be a means to destroy and subjugate other human beings. We should engage in activities that raise our consciousness from the banality of bourgeois consumerism, that make us seek actionable knowledge and information that we can act upon.
Let us all get back to our essence, life is short and our time for learning and creativity is thus somewhat limited. Without any guidance and principles we waste valuable time, effort and energy chasing brands and cosmetic materials. We should accumulate skills and internalize the rules that govern our lives; our minds will want to become more active, seeking to use this knowledge in ways that are more suited to our inclinations. In the end, we’ll be giving our minds fuel to make new associations between different ideas. This intelligence is cultivated by deeply immersing ourselves in a field of study and staying true to our inclinations, no matter how unconventional our approach might seem to others.
‘It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly’ – Bertrand Russell
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