Eat, Shop, Repeat

Over the last couple of weeks, I have traveled about 3,500 miles through eight states.  I drove through many towns and cities.  Small towns like Wisdom, MT which has a population of 100 people.  Then through the larger cities like Salt Lake City, UT which has a population of 1.2 million people.  What was the common quality of all of these places?  If I were an alien visiting I would think that all we do is eat and shop. 

How did this happen?

I not able to provide exact reasons why America has become one large shopping center, but here are my theories.  If you look at the economics of our country about 2/3’s of our economy is driven by the stuff we buy.  By consumer purchasing.  Do you remember when George W. Bush during one of his press conferences around 2007 said, “I encourage you all to go shopping more.”  He sounded like a goof ball this provided a great amount of satire.  He was, of course, reading from a script, but he was correct.  The other reason I believe the US has become one big shopping mall is we have moved away from being a nation of manufacturing to a nation of services.  This change will continue to occur especially with automation now taking services jobs away.  The majority of people currently being displaced in the work force is due to automation of services.  I have recently read from those who theorize that occupations such as lawyers will someday be replaced by computer automation.  The challenge is where will the displaced earn enough money to continue eating and shopping?

Is this a complaint?

I am still in the midst of the 21 Day No Complaint Challenge.  I am pleased to report that I made it through one whole day without complaining during my vacation.  So I guess this might be considered a complaint.  I am going to refer to it as an observation.  I understand that this has become the norm and it is how many earn a living, raise their kids, buy homes, start businesses, etc. through the eating and shopping matrix.  I just think we could do better.

You are a creator

You have probably have heard the new age philosophy that we are all co-creators.  Well, that is an accurate statement.  Think of it without the new age mumbo jumbo connotations.  We are constantly creating our lives through the stories we tell ourselves.  Most advancements are made by imagining something different or better.  If you want to change situations in your life you must first begin to think differently and tell yourself different stories.  The action would logically follow and it all starts with a story.  A story you tell yourself.  I like to think we could tell ourselves better stories than stories about eating and shopping.  Each of us individually can create new worlds.  Imagine what we could do collectively.  Are we all so distracted and afraid to see this?  I am an optimist.  I believe that things will always improve.  I think progress, always progress.   Perhaps the eating and shopping era is just a side road we are temporally following.  I hope so.  If not, then all I can do is choose how I will react to it.  I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic, please leave a comment.  

Until Next Week,

Rich Decker – Mindful Accord