Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Overconsumption & Materialism Fueling Stress for Singaporeans

"Too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence & consumption." - US President Jimmy Carter

Last week it was reported that Sillyporeans are like Sun Wukong(monkey king) being buried under a mountain - a mountain of stuff. Although the survey was done by a self-storage company, i consider the results accurate.

Why the results accurate? One can already see the expected consequence with shopping malls sprouting up like weeds all over the tiny island. 3 years ago i already sounded the alarm in blogpost: Warehouse Storage Solutions -Increasingly Cluttered Homes.
"Do we have stuff or does it have us? In a world filled with clutter, we too easily become overwhelmed, lose our way & get swept along in a current that carries us to the mall for more stuff."

"Possession overload is the kind of problem where you have so many things you find your life is being taken up by maintaining & caring for things instead of people. Everything i own owns me. People feel sad & what do they do? They go to the mall & they shop & it makes them feel better, but only for a short time." - Swenson.

Which is why i find it fantastic that Yahoo! News used an infested shopping mall picture last year to report Singaporeans Among Top 10 Pessimists, Overbuying To Misery.

Being a frugal person i feel like a misfit living in overly materialistic & consumption mania SG. I tend to repair stuff to save $$$ - Repairing Backrest of Chair & Punctured Bicycle Tubes. Many others would simply head out to buy a new one since Made in China cheap products are flooding the market.
"What the bored person really craves is a meaningful, authentic life. The ads suggest that such a life comes in products or packaged commercial experiences. However is more likely to be found in such things as service to others, relationships with friends & family, connection with nature & work of intrinsic moral value."

More material possessions doesn't make a person much happier after basic level of stuff is met. Going from none to 1 bicycle makes one happy a great deal. However happiness decrease with the buying of 2nd, 3rd, 4th bicycle.

More Reasons Why Sillyporeans Succumb to Materialism
"Swelling expectations lead to a constant effort to keep up with the latest products, to compete in the consumption arena. That, in turn, forces us to work more, so we can afford the stuff. With so many things to use & the need to work harder to obtain them, our lives grow more harried & pressured. As 1 pundit put it, "if you win the ratrace, you're still a rat & you may be a dead one."

"We've mutated from citizens to consumers in the last 60 years. Trouble with being consumers is that consumers have no duties or responsibilities or obligations to their fellow consumers. Citizens do. They have the obligation to care about their fellow citizens & about the integrity of the town's environment & history." - James Kuntsler

"Greed & materialism. These kids don't feel like their lives would be worth anything unless they have the hottest product that's being sold in the marketplace."

"At least 3 in 10 flee to the mall when things get out of control at home or work. Others come without a particular purchase in mind, just wanting to be around people, to feel less lonely."

"The more we buy, the faster natural species disappear. & the damage accelerate every minute."

In October, WWF reported that it would be GAME OVER:
"If every person in the world lived like Singaporeans, 4.1 planets would be needed to sustain our needs."

The resources on the planet are simply not there for the future & increasing middle classes of China & India to live like Sillyporeans or Americans. The planet is close to tipping point with regards to climate change.

I reckon the hybrid regime knows the limits to growth which is a reason why they are cashing out by selling as much stuff as they can - Creepy Construction Mania - Choa Chu Kang 

To understand why current economic growth model is unsustainable please watch the video in my blogpost: Super Hurricane Sandy & End of Current Economic Growth Model
"To live, we buy. Everything (except, of course, 'free air' at the gas stations). But this way of life is not sustainable. You can withdraw only so much money from a trust fund (or fossil fuel & fossil water from underground). You get only so many miles out of a vehicle-even a high-end racecar. American racecar lifestyle is fast approaching burnout because it requires long, stressful workweeks that eat up chunks of life, natural resources & health. It programs us to substitute consumption for both citizenship & companionship. & it tries to meet non-material needs with material goods, a losing strategy."

Why I'm Fed Up with the Hybrid Regime's GDP as Prime Indicator of Progress
“We've had enough of work more, enjoy less, pollute more, eat toxics, get cancer & increase gdp. How about we work less, enjoy more, have more friends & time for them, consume less, pollute less, destroy less, owe less, live better, longer & more meaningfully.”- John De Graaf


  1. I love reading your blog! Your thoughts are exactly what I've been thinking subconsciously. Singapore society is really spiralling downwards. I wholeheartedly agree with you. More shopping malls have indeed sprung up all over this small island. Encouraging more people to buy buy buy. More stuffs in their homes, add on to their clutter...adding on to their stress levels.... and then they shop again to "release" this stress...not realising that less is more. This reminds me of George Carlin's stand up comedy where he actually made a lot of sense. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac

  2. Just to share another thought is what I got from this man called Adyashanti. He said when we make a purchase and/or get what we want, we are temporarily happy and fulfilled. But the reason for happiness is not because we got what we wanted, but because for a brief period of time, we stopped wanting, and thus we experience peace and happiness. This totally made sense. I've stopped going to malls and such and I have a strong distaste for it.