Affluence

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From the Iphone to the super green lawn one can easily depict the workings of affluence on American society. It’s seems to me like a desperate race of egos and trends that most Americans, though inadequately prepared, try to run in.

Take a glance at the television screen, in the past ten minutes I have seen between eleven to fifteen car commercials. These are not mere candy bars but brand new cars all holding exuberant price tags. Nevertheless Americans are willing to take loans out and overextend themselves for a piece of metal that will get them from Point A to Point B especially if it comes with a Mercedes or BMW hood ornament. It seems sick.

A similar story plays out for LCD televisions, gourmet brewers, and Apple computers. But strip away the fancy names and features and all you have is a product, meant to truly fulfill one purpose. A television is meant to shoot images at a person, a gourmet brewer is meant to make a brew, a computer is meant to process, convey, and store information.

Phones are some of the most notorious; people will pay hundreds of dollars for a “high-tech” piece of metal that depreciates in value as fast as the cheese in my refrigerator. Most earnestly the new phone you just bought is obsolete in a couple months, so why buy it?
The winner of the mentioned race is most simply a fool. The racers (winning or not) are fools, and those products they buy are merely facades.

What does have significance? Personally I have found some of the most valuable things I possess are experiences.

I have found that a missed opportunity is worse than breaking an expensive camera or losing a brand new pair of Nikes. I was once in a meeting with a group of government officials all the time being told: “They have waited for your presentations all year.” Nevertheless, within four minutes most of the congregation of old officials were rolling in there chairs and several blatantly asleep. This account is so vivid for me because I missed my opportunity to call out those rude sleeping officials. I gave my speech, not boring in the least, and sat down. The End. Opportunity lost.

One of the most valuable things I have come to hold is the experience my dad and brother had stranded on a lake in a trashy pontoon boat in a thunder storm. It wasn’t an expensive afternoon, but it was one I remember and value the most.

Experiences linger like a high that day dreams can flow back to. They never disappear, become obsolete, or compete with the neighbors next door. They are the epiphany of reality, the break of affluence, and the destruction of facades.





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