New Years Resolution #8; Don't buy stuff I can't afford.
The real shocker in all of our economic troubles of the last few months, is that no one is willing to admit where the blame truly lies. I was talking to Laurena about this in the ball pit last night, and we decided that our economy sucks because we are selfish. When the legislation was passed to make credit available to more people, we decided that we could go out and buy whatever we wanted. The problem is that we were using money that we didn't have, and it eventually bit us in the ass when it came time to pay for it. I know that that is an over-simplified summary of the current Recession, but I believe that it can be summed up like that. Everyone is quick to blame the lending companies, the government, China, etc., but I haven't once heard some one say that the problem lies in the consumer. Our selfishness is obvious to everyone but ourselves, as we go out and spend more money than we can to buy things that we don't need. And, why? Why do we overspend our budgets in the name of "credit?"
I've begun to notice that everyday, we are bombarded with a society that tells us that we are the most important thing in the world, and that we deserve everything we want. I believe (if only because I see it in myself) that we have an instinctive pride within us that says, "I matter more than anything else," and advertisers have figured this out. Commercials, billboards, internet banners all have that common theme: "you deserve this." And we (I) read/hear that and say, "yes, I do deserve that." But, what do we really deserve? Social networking sites (Facebook, myspace, etc.) and blogs reinforce this idea, as they give us an opportunity to sell ourselves. The idea that there is a web page that is totally devoted to me, that anyone in the world can look at, is crazy. Working with High School kids, I can see how these resources consume their lives, to the point where they will decide what kind of activities they will do and what kind of friends they will make depending on how it will look on their facebook page. As we're instilled with this self-infatuation, we cease to care if something is practical or affordable. We care only that we want it, which justifies it in our minds.
So, my New Years resolution is to get over myself, and to figure out how to see myself in light of what I truly am; a dirty, greedy, selfish child that is warranted nothing in of myself.
This is from SNL, from May of 2006. If only we had listened: