“living in a material world, and I am a material girl” – Madonna

Hey guys. Happy Monday/almost Tuesday. 

So this last week while I did not have a learning epiphany, there was a golden nugget of information that has particularly resonated with me. In Fletcher’s Needs (I can’t recall how to properly cite book titles/movies/poems/article titles/etc. but y’all get the point), there is a quote (the nugget) that caught my attention. It says, “You never know what is enough, unless you know what is more than enough.” Wow. Read that one again. How profound is that? If there’s anything that sums up our consumerist/can’t-get-enough-of-anything society, then it’s that quote. This idea is something that I’m sure everyone takes in a little differently but for me, that kinda stabbed me in the heart in regards to my attitude towards fashion/material items. I love clothes. I love shopping. I love new stuff. Shiny stuff. Soft stuff. It’s fun to buy and makes me feel good. But does it really? If it’s a true need, then yes. But if it it’s not, does it actually fulfill me? No. It really doesn’t. The world tells me the more I have, the happier I’ll be. But the more I get, the more I want. The ‘more’ doesn’t satiate. I’m left feeling like I can’t keep up, like I don’t have enough money to jump on all the current trends. It makes me evaluate other things in my life negatively. And I know all of these things and yet I fall prey to the vicious animal of fashion/materialism/consumerism. How terrible is that?! Instead of being thankful, I resent what I’m missing out on. Ew I’m a bit disgusted with myself at the moment. It makes me want to get away from it all, honestly. That’s what a lot of this article, Needs, discusses. Corporate America is so very rich but we’re not that happy. Look at the divorce rate, suicide statistics, and the amount of credit card debt Americans have racked up. It’s absolutely absurd. People are obviously happy with their stuff right? I respect Ha. I loved reading this article. I found myself nodding my head in agreement for almost the entire time I was reading. And the most important thing that I learned from it is that I honestly need to look in the mirror to make changes before I can expect others to change. The most important thing I hope others can learn from this is that stuff doesn’t fulfill you and until you realize that, you’ll never have enough of it. 

I think this week’s learning is incredibly relevant to just about every aspect of my life. The food I eat, the clothes I buy, the TV I watch, etc. Less is more. To take it a little further, it’s about quality not quantity. How is it relevant to Interior Design? I’m honestly not sure how I could apply that in my field. It would be difficult to have adopted this mindset and yet work with coworkers or clients that have opposing perspectives. You could help clients plan within their means, show your coworkers to do the same with their clients. I think it’s something that needs to start within each person though and the perfect way to show others is leading by example. I could write a whole other blog on that but anyways, you get the point.

Honestly, knowing what I know now, I am much more aware of my materialistic mindset. It is something that has been burdening me a lot recently and so I was very pleased to have this subject in our reading. However, being aware is just the beginning. I can sit and write about how I wish I wasn’t as materialistic and hope that I can encourage others to do the same but if I’m not actually moving towards change… then what am I doing? Knowing what I know now, I need to learn more about how I can apply this when I enter my career. I feel like I’ve said that in a blog before but since I’m graduating and will be getting a job soon, I actually mean it. I know it’s a topic more along the lines of Emotional Intelligence so it is rather subjective, but I think it would be so intriguing and encouraging to see any efforts being made in my field that are opposing materialism.

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1 Response to “living in a material world, and I am a material girl” – Madonna

  1. Dr. Cosette Armstrong says:

    Very deep. The fact that you intellectually have a sense of what is right for you (what is enough) and still feel the “pull,” demonstrates just how powerful culture is. How do we apply this agony to our fields? We think better than the product, bigger than the object, beyond the maps/plans to mechanisms for creating alternative culture. Design activism could help you do that?

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