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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: AFFLUENZA

Hi Sangha and Friends

 Here's a book review on a book from our Sangha Library.

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Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic 

John de Graaf David Wann  Thomas H Naylor ,Berrett-Koehler Publishers; Second Edition edition (Sep 1 2005)

The main theme of this book examines the over abundance of material wealth and possessions that appears to be rampant in many North America homes today.  However, the accumulation of “stuff’ does not in fact lead to a sense of happiness or contentment.  For some individuals it leads to stress.  Some examples presented in the book are: the ever mounting debt and a sense of desperation; because individuals’ continue to chase the “American Dream” through the purchase of a bigger house, a luxury car or a big screen television. Through advertising and our own sense of entitlement continues to proliferate these phenomena today.  Purchases and the buying power of people drive our economy.  However, as the authors suggest consumerism in this fashion is out of balance.  This book offers the reasons for the Affluenza epidemic and then gives us concrete ways to lessen our symptoms’ of over-consumption of material goods.  They conclude that simpler living will lesson stress for people and also have a positive impact on our planet earth.

When consumers that truly understand the difference between a need and a want they will begin to decrease their over-abundance on things.   I have met my basic needs; I still have my lists of wants.  For example, while I have purchased a new compact disc and a few books every month or so; my wants are no longer as focused on “stuff” as it once was. Satisfaction comes from a brighter place through: living as a Buddhist, and by being a great friend to others’, to be a source of loving support for my family and to satisfaction from my volunteer activities.

Jisei

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