Consumerism- What is it and what does it have to do with PTSD? Another byproduct of PTSD is a sole propensity toward consumerism without production. Consumerism itself is not bad. In fact, without consumers, there would be no producers, no need to produce, and no means to grow and develop as individuals and a people. However, those of us dealing with the symptoms and byproducts of PTSD tend to only consume with little ability to produce anything of value. In fact, we crave consumption. Now, that consumption can take many forms, typically however, it functions like a drug and is extremely addictive.
Often, the objects of our consumption feed either the mind, the body, or both. Primarily, we eat up entertainment, distractions, television, video games, anything that will pre-occupy our minds. Just look at your news feed on Facebook, is anything edifying or inspiring? Is there anything of substance? Is there anything that will help you develop into a wiser, stronger, or more successful person? For most of us, the answer is no or very little. And to be honest, like eating your vegetables, what is good for us is often not fun, not entertaining, and maybe even a little boring. So, we crave to be entertained, we crave comedy, laughter, to feel good. Everyone wants to feel good either emotionally or physically. So, our consumption is intended to bring about these good feelings because we are unable to produce them naturally within ourselves.
Physical consumption either comes in the form of food, sex, alcohol, or drugs. We use whatever we have to to feel good. Physical consumption is generally more addictive than just mental consumption because it not only traps your mind, but also your body. These items have a way of making both mind and body feel good. They are also highly addictive and very hard to escape. With all of these items, we eventually come to depend up them, identify with them, and ultimately be enslaved by them.
You see in general, PTSD works to always find a master. If there is no master to serve, the mind will create one. When we speak of consciousness and awareness, the idea is to bring awareness within yourself of your own unconscious tendencies towards consumption without production. You become a slave to anything you consume. It is easy and obvious to see these traits in society, but what matters is recognizing the subtle hints of this within yourself, become aware of them, and resolve or dissolve them.
You see, it is time to produce. Being a slave does not require production. No thought, creativity, or innovation is required to be a slave, a consumer without production. This form of mental slavery called consumerism requires only mindlessness. If you have a mind without a master, then you are free, free to build, create, grow, and inspire change within yourself and the world. Producers create jobs, they start businesses, they are entrepreneurs. Consumers consume jobs with the illusion of production.
In reality, their employers are producing as they own everything produced by their employees. Now, there is nothing wrong with working for someone else and being an employee, unless you are meant to be something more than an employee. But, being an employee like being a consumer is just a mindset. If you have an employee mindset, then you clock in and clock out, taking home only what you are given. If you have a success mindset, you will realize that even as an employee working at Joe's BBQ joint, you're always looking for opportunity, opportunity to advance your purpose, your dream, whether that dream is at Joe's BBQ or elsewhere. You don't limit yourself, you see past your present condition, which maybe good, but is not yet your best.
Be a producer. A producer has a positive outlook which some call faith. Yet, a producers faith is not blind. She or he works towards it and the vision becomes clearer as they go along. Above all, producers seek knowledge and wisdom, consciousness. You see, you don't know what you don't know. The first step is to become aware of what you don't know, to become aware of your own mental slavery, blockages that may be holding you back. Don't assume you're good, that you don't suffer from mental slavery or PTSD. We all suffer from it, but the key is to identify it early and often, to be on the lookout for it as it creeps back up. It is everywhere in our society and popular culture seeks to reinforce it in our lives. Thus, we must be aware of the poison within us and from without, awareness and consciousness.
This is what it means to be African-conscious or Black-conscious. It's more than just a mere mental decision or Black pride ideology. It is seeing the truth not in the outside world system, but within oneself and helping others to see it within themselves, not telling them, but allowing them to discover such on their own. Let's help each other get there.
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