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The Consumer Culture Lacks Compassion

I heard a voice earlier today after I woke up and started making breakfast. I had been thinking about my memoir, and how I want to publish it within the next year or so. Last August when I started my blog, the voices objected and threatened me for writing about them. They also objected strongly to my memoir. This morning the voice said, “Whatever money you make from your memoir, we’re going to siphon out of your bank account!” I’ve occasionally wondered about what types of events and/or people to include in my memoir, and what ones to leave out. I want to be as honest as possible, and convey what I’ve been through to the best of my ability. My goal isn’t to become a millionaire by publishing my memoir. I am more concerned about writing well, and sharing my experience with others.

I dismissed the threat, and started reading an article in my June Living Buddhism. The article is a dialogue between SGI President Ikeda and the Harvard Divinity Research Professor, Harvey G. Cox taken from the book The Persistence of Religion: Comparative Perspectives on Modern Spirituality. In this article, Ikeda and Cox discuss the market economy and the role of religion. They state that our culture has become a “consumer” culture dominated by advertising and material desires. The problem with a consumer culture is that it kills spirituality. Cox states, “The consumer culture trivializes and destroys values such as simplicity and compassion that traditional religions uphold. The market does not reward compassion. It doesn’t even know about compassion…Many of modern humanity’s desires are not real needs. In their pursuit of profit, market controllers always have to stimulate false appetites.”  This statement is very true, the only problem is that most people never realize it. I want to earn a good living writing, but I’m not out to become filthy rich. I don’t need 3 cars, a television in every room, and a million useless gadgets that I’ll never use. I’d love to simply be able to talk comfortably with strangers, go swimming once and awhile, and enjoy life with my husband.

Cheers!

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