Don’t Be Afraid to Not Be Like “The Joneses”

joneses You don’t have to buy into the Martha Stewart or Kardashian View of life!!! If we would truly realize this, our personal lives would be so much easier and less stressful by not spending time watching and copying what everyone else is doing. Life is basically what YOU make it and not what others make for you. It’s so okay to not have the biggest, best, most, prettiest, popular or current anything. It’s far better to be unique!

We’ve all heard the old saying, “keeping up with the Joneses.” What a fallacy and who really cares! I grew up under the influence of June Cleaver and Donna Reed-the popular television moms during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Even though my view was that of a young child, I can still clearly picture either of these perfectly sized and coiffed women; wearing a nice dress, high heels and accessorized with pearl necklaces as well as  pretty little lacy apron around their waists.

My mother and her friends watched these shows secondary to the humorous characterization portrayed by either of the two aforementioned women. They didn’t watch the show to model themselves after the character’s perfect physical appearances, perfectly arranged homes (even if on a TV set) or because of their gorgeous spouses or children. The majority of people during that era, were not obsessed with consumerism but rather about living as good citizens with the family as the center of their worlds.

Per Wikipedia, “The philosophy of “keeping up with the Joneses” has widespread effects on some societies. According to this philosophy, conspicuous consumption occurs when people care about their standard of living in relation to their peers. Social status once depended on one’s family name; however, the rise of  consumerism in the United States gave rise to social mobility. With the increasing availability of goods, people became more inclined to define themselves by what they possessed and the subtle quest for higher status accelerated. Conspicuous consumption and materialism have been an insatiable juggernaut ever since.The desire to increase one’s position in the social hierarchy is responsible for much of the social mobility in America. The upward mobility over the past few decades in America is due in part to the large number of women joining the labor force. US women have slowly and steadily increased their participation in the labor force from 46% of all women (age 16+) in 1974 to almost 60% in 2004.”

If only the younger generations would realize these facts and put them into perspective at a younger age than prior generations. A consumerism focused life isn’t healthy and does nothing but put unnecessary stresses on families and society. The energies that could be re-channeled from such a change of focus could be used for far better purposes, such as improving family relationships or helping those in need.

When we humans finally wake up and realize that we’re all unique individuals with personal choices that set us apart from others, we might learn to like ourselves and quit trying to be someone we aren’t.  We have to make a conscious effort to turn off the media promoted consumerism in our heads, then and only then, will we have a chance to take control of our own lives and live it to the best of OUR own ability.

 

 

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