What can I buy today?
From dawn to dusk, our life is made of choices.
We live in a world of individual freedom, where everybody and anybody can choose what he’s going to eat, where is going to shop and what car he is going to buy. Or maybe not?
Making our own choices
When we make choices, we tend to choose what we believe other people will choose or what is the most acceptable choice. A simple example would be the choice you are given in the morning for breakfast, would it be an omelet or a stuffed turkey? 99% of people will say the omelet, because it is what we expect them to choose, it is the most acceptable choice according to western standards.
We nowadays engage in self critique instead of social critique. We may take decisions that are not good for us today, because we want to think that if our situation changes for the best in the future, then the choices we made in the past will be good for us in the future. Choices give us the possibility to dream and to imagine a brighter future.
Every choice a person makes is linked to a risk, a possible loss. Choices are made of consequences, this causes anxiety, feelings of guilt and feelings of failure due of poor choices. Because of the risks associated with choices, lots of people tend to turn a blind eye on all the information they receive.
Ignorance is on the rise. 90% of us have a passion for ignorance. Being ignorant makes us happier than being rational. It is much better to argue that we should not wait more than 3 hours in a hospital, than to realise that some people have to walk for days to reach the nearest hospital. We are more connected than ever, and yet we are more individualistic than ever before.
The power of Gurus
The anxiety about making the correct decision, the peer pressure we feel, leads us to follow a guru, a political leader that will help us make the correct choice or even release us from taking any decision.
Gurus are everywhere. She can be your therapist telling you that to be happy you need to engage in social activities, meaningful or not, it does not matter as it turns out. Another guru can be your best-friend that tells you in which restaurant you HAVE to go, or where you SHOULD have a drink or where you MUST go shopping.
But the most dangerous guru is the guru that tells you that you are the most important person on earth. I am sorry to break it to you, but only a few humans are bringing the world further, the rest of us are just figurants, dragging our feet cause we don’t like change. Change is scary….we just don’t know what will be next and this sucks.
What is influencing your choices?
So, are choices our own? Nah, our choices come from our unconscious and our community, good or bad it may be. So, let’s say, you live in a wonderful land, where everybody shops at that wonderful supermarket “The Star Market”. I bet you will be shopping at that supermarket, thinking it is the best place on earth.
Then, you look on that amazing search engine that everybody uses and you find that restaurant that everybody (almost everybody, cause you don’t read the negative comments) likes. I can assure you that you will be eating at that restaurant a lot, even if the food is crap and the service is horrendous. You will deny the facts and you will keep sharing the good word on that amazing restaurant. We want to be different, but at the same time we want to be the same, and “belong”.
Now, your car is 5 years old, you cannot be seen in a car that is that old, your community made it clear. Insurance policies, governments, friends & colleagues. Everything is pushing you to change your car every 5 years or less. So here you are, great pressure of having to change your car regularly, what a drag. So to ease that burden you read car reviews, and watch 18-year old Youtubers testing cars. Then, you go to your dealership and you lay the burden of your decision on the sales guy. He should tell you what type of car, color, sound system, etc will be best for you.
Then comes the funny part. You get your shiny new car and you realize that everybody else is driving the same sort of car, in the same color. Not because there is only 2 brands and 2 colors on the market like in communist times. No, it’s because all the information received from your community (friends, family, work colleagues, etc) leads you to take that safe choice. What car is it? Well, it depends on where you live;)