Journal Entry # 37 - Road Entry#27 (Double Tree Hotel Lobby - Memphis, TN - 4:48pm - September 16, 2010)

Materialism.

I am writing this blog entry in relationship to a fantastic New York Times article I read back in Annapolis, MD - early August. It is entitled:

"But Will It Make you Happy?" - by Stephanie Rosenbloom - New York Times - Sunday, August 8, 2010

I suggest you read it.

My favorite quote from this article comes with, "New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses".

I feel like I am at one of the happiest times in my life. I have found that travel, new experiences, new places, and creating new memories is what life is truly all about. Other moments of complete and utter bliss came when I moved up to Oregon for college, traveled and lived in Copenhagen, Denmark for my study abroad program in 2008, and moved to Hawaii for the summer in 2007.

So far, my travels, readings, and observations have led me to believe that the majority of the United States and Western Civilization is stuck on this perpetual merry-go-round that encompasses so many variables for a "normal" or "norm" life here in the United States. They include:
Perpetual Spending
Perpetual Consumption
Perpetual Advertising
Perpetual Investing
Perpetual Thinking
Perpetual Living

I call all of this
PERPETUAL BULLSHIT!!!

This spin-cycle system will never end without radical change. I am not even close to saying that I have some sort of solution for our style of living or even that our style of living is WRONG. Because out way-of-life in the United States is not WRONG, I just feel like it has lost it's way. The same way the nutritional system in schools across the United States have lost their way. One of my role-models, Jamie Oliver and his Food Revolution campaign have been initiating a food & nutrition revolution across the USA in the primary, public-education food-system.

I suggest you watch his TV show. One of the most inspirational and thought-provoking shows ever to hit the airwaves.

I sincerely believe that we, as Americans, have to break away or step-back to ask ourselves, What makes us happy? The internal dilemma I have with this question, like most of you might have, is that it is always changing. Therefore you might want to ask yourself these questions more than once this year, or once a year, or whatever...

1. What do you really want to get out of life?
2. What can you offer the world that no one else can?
3. What activities, experiences, and people make you smile/grin from ear-to-ear?

These two questions were posed by Chris Guillebeau. His new book, "The Art of Non-Conformity" just came out in Barnes & Nobles and on Amazon.com

Another link I want to share with everyone is www.happinessrevolution.com

Roko Belic is a filmaker/director that has shot a documentary film on happiness. Surfing makes him happy, that's why he moved from San Francisco to a trailer in Malibu in order to surf frequently. His documentary film is called "Happy".

I included these links and suggestions because it has made me happy. I do this because I know there are people who are like me - they could benefit from these articles, shows, movies, and links. I know there are people out there who are not like me - and they might not benefit from the suggested input, but it makes me happy to know that it's available to them and they can diligently investigate whether or not it truly does help them.

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