Addicted to AFFLUENZA

Too many people spend the money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like. These people (who walk ahhh… sorry how can the super rich prince/ss walk)who drive their air conditioned cars wearing GUCCI shades, VERSACE shirt, HILFIGER pants, NIKE shoes and etc etc… with the sole purpose of flaunting it. These people bear on their face a tag of “I’m rich and you are not” with an unfettered celebration of wealth and things money can buy, something that pigeonholes people as winners or losers, as princes or paupers.
Such are the people we call Addicted to Affluenza. Affluenza- a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the doggeed pursuit of more.

With affluenza addicted lifestyle , we put our family, friends, contentment at some rear, dusty, seldom visited corner of life and look towards the plethora of monetary benchmarks in determining our life’s goals. . It is nothing but work, work, work. we are the people who shout at a microwave to hurry up. I cannot easily buy a blank book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents…I think there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, philosophy, ay, to life itself than this incessant business.
“The only chance of satisfaction we can imagine is getting more of what we have now. But what we have now makes everybody dissatisfied. So what will more of it do — make us more satisfied, or more dissatisfied?”
Parents who started working at Rs 300/- or 400/- per month obviously get amazed when their children’s undies cost Rs 500/- . Parents look in astonishment when their children ask them for a cellphone in class 6, when their children buzz them off their room and tell them to mind their own business. And in western countries when children grow up, they move out of their parents home because now they can earn and can’t stand their parents nagging everyday.
so this affluenza has made a father an ATM machine and a mother an all time maid.
Where children are enjoying this luxury fever, parents with thier values as inertia are resisting it.
But then there is another variety of parents who themselves drag their children to this elevated luxury fever to compensate for the time that they should spend with their children but they are busy chasing the rat race for more.
This epidemic is not just limited to a section of society but permeates to every sphere of life. Whether its those rich and pompous women who flaunt their diamond jewellery in their kitty parties or their hubbies who pamper their male ego by spending lavishly on their homes, cars, gizmos and expensive pastimes.
Mukesh ambani’s (the richest indian) 27 story royal palce to be built with total worth of around $2 billion is an ideal manifesto of affluenza at its best.
Not to forget the IPL phenomenon, which is the latest tashan of the rich and famous. With the big money , the cheer and all the pomp and show involved, IPL is more about business and less about game.
BUT above all is the correlation between the increasing nature of affluenza and the resulting increase in material inequality and environmental degradation.
Markets flatter our solitary egos but leave our yearnings for community unsatisfied. They advance individualistic, not social, goals, and they encourage us to speak the language of ‘I want’ not the language of ‘we need.’ The trouble with being consumers is that consumers have no duties or responsibilities or obligations to their fellow consumers. Citizens do. They have the obligations to care about their fellow citizens, and about the integrity of the town’s environment and history. This is a problem of appetites, and of narcissism, and of self-deceit. The planet is breaking, and it is breaking under the weight of our hunger for more. To reform the world, we must first reform ourselves. More than ever, we have big houses and broken homes, high incomes and low morale, secured rights and diminished civility. We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedoms but long for connection. In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger. People need identity, community, challenge, acknowledgement, love, and joy. To try to fill these needs with material things is to set up an unquenchable appetite for false solutions to real and never-satisfied problems. The resulting psychological emptiness is one of the major forces behind the desire for material growth.
“We’re possessed, obsessed in turn we’re more depressed we’re doomed, consumed we gotta get that monkey off our backs affluenza, a-fflu-enza!”