How can I be a Woke Consumer When I Fell Asleep?

I’ll be honest, I really had no idea what a paradigm was. For the readings we did, I was assigned to the “NO” team. Not knowing what I was disagreeing with gave an extra challenge and also kept me guessing on what could possibly be the “YES” of the argument. When I learned that it was disagreeing with globalization I was pleasantly surprised that the article I read, I had agreed on much with it. 

When in our small group discussions, I wish I spoke up more. My team members were two yeses and a no along with myself so we were divided evenly. But I felt as the yes members were trying to explain how we could be sustainable and also live with globalization I wanted to disagree. They were making some solid arguments that I could understand but since I didn’t read the article as they did I wanted to counter argue but wasn’t sure how. I agreed with my article greatly, I believe we as a society are too deeply rooted in consumerism and need to make a healthy break from it. But since I don’t fully comprehend free trade systems as my peers were discussing I really didn’t know how to disagree. I was the person to type so I would write what they were saying while I was trying to get my own thoughts in order. 

It encouraged me to do my own outside research about their yes argument and even as I understand more of the concept, I still agree strongly with the argument I was assigned. The most compelling supporting points made by the author were that we as a species thrive on consumption and thus are a cultural norm. We see symbols, the values we believe they have, and traditions we grow up with that are so deeply rooted they’ve  become second nature to recognize more brand symbols than leaves on trees or flowers we pass by on the way to these stores that carry these brands. A particular quote I enjoyed was “asking people who live in con­sumer cultures to curb consumption is akin to asking them to stop breathing­ they can do it for a moment, but then, gasping, they will inhale again…” This quote resonated with me and really put things into perspective. Because as I read this first fragment, I was faced with an almost guilty feeling. -I- am this consumer that shops for things I don’t need or for things that I believe that I need even though I could live perfectly fine without it but I believe things that brands are telling me because marketing WORKS and it works very effectively. 

The following sentence to this quote forever, shifted the full perspective into place for me; “These are not decadent choices but simply natural parts of life-at least according to the cultural norms present in a growing number of consumer cultures in the world.” This is the Paradigm, the thing we were meant to understand and what we went over in classes, it’s finally stuck for me. This was the largest takeaway for me.

The mindfulness activities we do in class are amazing ways for me to reset before class. Every zoom class starts to blend together and I leave my computer feeling exhausted. This helps me get fully into the mindset for this class, and ready to face the screen with excitement and confidence. The mindfulness practice I do outside of class is a little different. I’ve taken a great liking to falling asleep to guided meditations or ASMR videos that are “Guaranteed to make you fall asleep!” and they really do work. This one specifically was 30.34 minutes long and started out with the speaker guiding the listeners through a breathing exercise that they claimed the military used to fall asleep in seconds. I really did fall asleep in a mere minute. I think it goes against the mindfulness code to fall asleep in the practice but as my mind drifted from the conscious to the dream realm, I woke up the next morning feeling like I could make the 0.7 mile walk from my complex to human sciences in 5 minutes if I focused. Does it count if the mindfulness lasts through a sleep cycle? I sure hope so. 

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