I’m sure you haven’t thought of this one... How can I be so sure? Well if you did, I suppose you wouldn’t be doing a lot of things that you are doing now or have done before. Or perhaps you did think of it... If you did then there is another think coming.
I’ve been wondering about why we buy what we buy... Is it the advertisements we watch on TV? Some hot star masquerades with the ‘thing’ and we think ‘Wow!’ and go to the stores asking for it? Or is it because some Tom, Dick and Harry or Sharon, Jane and Mary have it? Is it just some whim or fancy we have when we see it at the shopping mall? Is it because my best friend uses ‘it’ or my favourite uncle loves it...? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Yet many people do just that.
A few moments of luring, teasing and flattery and we are down on our knees proposing to making that ‘thing’ a part of our lives! When I see the long list of ‘must haves’ that are dangled on television, the image that comes to my mind is that of the serpent lying to Eve and telling her the fruit is good to eat and it would make her a god or just like one!!! And guess what happened after that... it was Paradise lost and more losses through misery, pain and eventual death. Things were different before that you know!!!
Would you buy cancer? Would you buy death by some disease? Would you ever choose to shorten your life or live with a disability? Would you prefer to eat something that is poisoned or known to cause slow poisoning? Would you knowingly break all the relationships you have with your loved ones – your family and friends? Would you like to make a statement to the world that you care only for you and nothing else, and that you don’t give a damn about anything in the world?
Perhaps you wouldn’t.
Yet many of the products we get enticed enough to buy and make a part of our lives do just that. If you don’t believe me, just check the statistics for a disease like cancer, check out its various forms and see what causes it and you will find the culprit is some product, some lifestyle that is promoted to others as though it is the best thing in the world! So think twice before you take that cigarette, gutka, liquor or alcoholic drink... Think twice before you get bewitched by speed demons because most of our roads have lower speed limits and speeding off like they do in the ads only cause death to someone on the road or your own.
You want to ape your favourite star... there is nothing wrong with it if they are supporting some sensible cause. But if they are jumping some crazy cliff without any safety measures, you could be courting death! Now do you really believe that you can become a star by doing something those stars don’t do in their daily lives? Ah! How silly!!! I feel sad to think about little kids who met with terrible accidents and even death after aping stars who do such mindless stunts.
I think we need to give credit where it is really due... Like for instance I baulk at the ads which show these beautiful stars with flawless skin saying that they had acne and it all cleared up using some silly cream! Lies!!! They have to thank God for making them that way... their genes don’t have the acne stuff in it... and they have a list of ‘don’t dos’ so that their skin stays that way. After all it is their face, skin and body that made them ‘stars’. (My apologies to those who got there by talent and hard work.) Well if the beauty queens had to rough it out as ordinary people do how do you think they would look?
Have you realized that these ads tend to make you feel miserable about yourself? While they glorify some star or model they are actually pointing a finger at you and niggling away saying, ‘I know you are not like that!!!’ and then seconds later, they pretend to be your best friend and say, ‘I’ll tell you a secret, use this and you can be like that!’
Did you really get conned by that ad? I feel so sorry for the huge number of people who believe that they can actually become ‘fair’! It is known that many people use products to make their skin fairer... but just the thought sickens me. Why can’t we learn to be happy with our own skin colour??? I cannot imagine a world where only fair people exist! I love the variations in colour that God gave people of different ethnic origins... so if you have coloured skin, don’t worry, you are beautiful/ handsome anyway! Don’t let those silly people make you think otherwise...
I like ads that are genuinely informative and promote good values and principles in life. I prefer those ads that have good role models who practice what they preach even in their own lives. I like ads that are uplifting to the common man and doesn’t beat down their self esteem simply to make their product look good. After all, we know that life is tough and we all have problems, why should ads take pot shots at poor and simple people?
I guess the challenge before the ad-makers is to state the truth about their product while also contributing in terms of goodness or value to people from all strata of life. Some ads glorify the rich and demean the poor, I find them to be of very poor taste. It is better that ads show the truth because no ad-campaign can successfully sell any product if it is not good. Once a person buys it, if it turns out to be bad, we can be sure that he will never buy it again. Not only that he will talk about his disappointment to others and thereby lower the products value and saleability for others too.
Well when it comes to me, I take every ad with not just a pinch but a whole lot of salt... I strip them down to analyze every image and message, let it zip through my mind to see if it is worthy of approval and then dump them if they are not. So I live without a lot of things that ‘they’ say I should because I know what my needs are and am happy to live within them.
No! I am not going to buy anything that will mess me up physically, mentally or emotionally through addictions and the like. I have a checklist of the values and principles I follow in life and if those ads don’t measure up, I don’t follow their unsolicited advice.
Believe me this way of thinking works wonders... I have peace of mind, I am happy with myself the way I am and I can live the way I want without having to bother about flimsy trends or materialistic people who size me up according to what I ‘possess’ or ‘use’. I decide what I want and when... I choose them by weighing the pros and cons because it is going to affect my life!
So let me ask you... what are you buying? Are you sure it is good for you?