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More versus Enough-- time to re-set our values

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Originally Published on OpEdNews


This article explores what I think has become just about a mental illness-- the desire for "more" and the corollary "bigger." This is a disorder that has been stoked and encouraged by the media, even by political leaders. But is it really what we want, and is it at all healthy or normal?

There's a new Verizon commercial that claims that everyone wants MORE... like bigger wheels,


more wheels
(Image by verizon ad)
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more food, as in a huge cookie


more-- as in bigger cookie
(Image by verizon ad)
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more shoes,


more shoes
(Image by verizon ad)
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that even dogs want bigger bones.



more food
(Image by verizon ad)
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Here's the actual 30 second commercial video.



The key message is "all we really want is 'more.'" And that's what Verizon is giving-- more-- more data... whatever.

Once or twice a year I see a TV ad that rubs me the wrong way. Last year it was a series of ads that encouraged children to lie-- "Don't tell your Mom." This Verizon ad is a smart commercial, no doubt, because there are millions of people who want more. And getting more for your money can be a good thing. But that statement, "all we really want is more," really bothers me.

It taps a meme that is unsustainable and unhealthy in so many ways.

Nature doesn't work that way. Animals don't eat until they have no more room. They eat as much as they need. Same with breastfeeding infants. They eat a bit, rest or play, then let their mom know they'd like to eat again.

But we see the "more" mentality in the extremely wealthy, in hoarders, in obsessive compulsive collectors, in some megachurches where riches and wealth are celebrated, and in narcissists who can't get enough adulation, power over and control.

I believe that the desire for limitless more, the idea of celebrating MORE as a good thing, as something desirable is a disorder, perhaps a character disorder, perhaps a personality disorder, almost certainly a societal disorder. I'm not a psychologist, so I'm not claiming to know the best diagnostics, but there's definitely a problem here, on tied in with top-down power-over, domination/subjugation, plutocratic culture.

This disorder is related to another one I've written,
Needed: A Science, Economics and Lifestyle of SMALL-- It's Time to Face Reality-- Too BIG is Too Dangerous.

Big is not better. It is very often a manifestation or variation of the desire to have more.

We don't have to do this. We can be proud to want ENOUGH. We can teach our kids to be satisfied and happy with enough.

I discovered this quote by John Stuart Mill over 25 years ago:
"I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them."

Wanting it all" is sold as part of the American Dream, but really, the wanting, which is never-ending and which can never be fulfilled, is really an American nightmare, doomed to perpetual dissatisfaction.


The answer is really simple. Want enough and be not only satisfied, but happy with what you have. Sometimes, that "enough" means you temporarily want more, to reach a reasonable, sustainable, non-greedy, non-selfish, non-power-hungry, non-narcissistic goal. But even while you are working towards reaching that goal, the trick in life is to enjoy what you have.

The problem is western culture and media attempt to sell the idea, like the Verizon ad does, that more is better, more is desirable, and that wanting more is normal. It's not. Verizon's ad campaign taps into a pathological meme. It verges on lascivious. The church of MORE is idolatry. Somehow, the values of modesty and temperance have been lost, or thrown away by industrialized capitalism, which is built upon a foundation of ever more consumption.

We need to change that way of thinking and bring back values that humans have embraced for hundreds of thousands of years, where people lived in bottom-up relationships where sharing and egalitarianism ruled.









 

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Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.


With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

See more Rob Kall articles here and, older ones, here.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..

And here's a one hour radio interview where I was a guest- on Envision This, on 10/23/13. And here is the transcript. 

And Rob's quotes are here.

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Rob's radio show, The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, runs 9-10 PM EST Wednesday evenings, on AM 1360, WNJC and is archived at www.opednews.com/podcasts Or listen to it streaming, live at www.wnjc1360.com

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