I normally don't write like this but I felt the need to get this off my chest. It's a typical Sunday afternoon, sitting around with the children, watching a bit of TV, just relaxing. I then tune in to this new channel on DStv called TLC, a Discovery network channel. I had heard about this channel before, on various blogs and websites I go to, due to the shows that are featured on it. Basically, it is a channel dedicated to showing the crazy, wacky, real lives of the ordinary American in the reality TV format. Now, there are good shows on there, but the one that stuck out to me was Outrageous Kids Parties. These shows take the cake. I mean when you speak of the height of superficial living, trying to "keep up with the Joneses" gives me the creeps (really). This particular episode, one mother was planning to throw her son a graduation party: from pre-school. This child was 5! She said "I want people to come to this party and say 'wow, my wedding was whack!'". She then goes ahead to spend an obscene amount of money and says that it was all worth it. Another spent upwards of $36,000(!) on her daughter's birthday party, western carnival themed, complete with a $5000 swing set as a birthday present and said that if she could, she'll do it all over again. And we wonder why the US is broke? Most of them are greedy, fake people who think that quantity, and not quality, is what constitutes happiness. I may not be a grouch and pinch on every cent and refuse my child a birthday but I won't go out and spend the equivalent of 1 year's college fees just because I want to impress my friends and neighbours. How about you take the kid out to a nice place, give them a treat or at the most, in the house and have a fabulous time? Why raise a child's expectations? The birthday girl actually said " next year It will be bigger than this". Really? Money grows on trees? It must do for it to happen like this. That is just a poverty mentality and a lack of self-esteem.
I watched a movie last night, The Joneses, how people take marketing to a whole new level and this company send out people as a pretend family unit, in order to influence their neighbour's spending and lifestyle. They had their houses stacked up with the latest gadgets, the best cars and finest jewellery, all sponsored by the company. A guy in the movie virtually sold his life in order to be able to compete on that level, even though he knew he couldn't afford it. In the end he eventually committed suicide. The need to conform or live outside our comfort zone doesn't just happen to Americans but everywhere else in the world today, that's why nations are broke and we have countries like Greece on the verge of bankruptcy.Why do we decide to live in the clouds, knowing one day we may have to face reality? We leave it off, convincing ourselves that what we want now is really what we need until we see another shiny new plaything.
The nature of covetousness is in our DNA, some just know how to control it better than others. The ability to "cut your coat according to your size" is now a thing of the past. I won't lie, I have had my fair share of greed and know the harm it can bring to you, because at the end of the day, when you really need the funds, say for your child's education, you would regret that spend of $36,000. Just saying..