Day 7 – Thoughts on love and consumerism

My 30-day minimalism challenge is going well so far and I’m starting to notice some space in-between the piles of clothes in my closet. However, I’m only up to day 7 so this is probably just a warm up. The challenge will probably not start until I get to day 10 and onwards. Wish me luck! I will probably need some motivation and inspiration and a good reminder on WHY I’m doing this when I get to day 15 or 20…

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Today is Valentine’s day. Another major consumer holiday and a dreaded obligation for some of those who are in a relationship to shower their partners with expensive gifts, dinners and mass-produced items such as chocolates and flowers. Solely in the United States, $440 million is spent on candy the week before the 14th of February, 150 million Valentine’s cards and gifts are sent each year, 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold and over 220 million roses are produced for the holiday in a typical year.

However, to show someone that you love them does not mean that you have to get stuck in the consumerism trap. There are many things that we can do for free or that are less expensive and won’t cost the earth. For example, a simple homemade card is probably as good – if not better – than one of those impersonal boxes of chocolates. Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolates and I would definitely indulge in the luxurious flavours of sugars and cacao if they were given to me. But I must say that a simple message on a piece of paper, saying “I love you”, would probably speak to my heart rather than to my taste buds…

According to Dr Gary Chapman there are 5 languages of love, these are: words of affirmation; quality time; receiving gifts; acts of service and physical touch. Now receiving gifts does not necessarily have to be expressed through materialism. Dr Chapman argues that it’s the love, thoughtfulness and effort behind the gift that counts. For example, the gift might be an experience such as a day spent in the outdoors or a picnic in the park. Love is free so be creative.

 

 

 

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