Monday, February 16, 2009

The Must Haves--Night at the Taj

Last night, I went to the casino in AC with John, Debbie (John's former mother-in-law) and Joe (Debbie's husband). As anyone who has been to the casino knows, it's basically a lot of bells and whistles, colors and lights meant to lead you into sin and temptation. We went to the Taj, one of Trump's many homages to himself. Due to my current financial situation, I try to limit my spending to $20. Well, sitting at a $1 slot, I found myself falling victim to the gambler's lie, "I must hit at some point!" Eighty dollars later, I realized that money goes fast in a casino! Duh!! I guess I just paid for one of Trump's girlfriend's hair extensions--your welcome! Anyway, at least we got to enjoy the buffet, hello, all you can eat shrimp and crab!! Greed and Gluttony all in one easy location. While in the Taj, it occurred to me that the real American Dream is the get rich quick ideal. The fallacy that if I just had enough money, I'd be happy. This is the greatest lie we tell ourselves. Yes, money can reduce stress, especially for those of us with huge school loans. However, it is not the cure-all that many of us believe that it is. We have become a society in America of "Must Haves". I must wear Prada, I must have a Coach purse. These names somehow give people validity to their existence. Can you say, that stripped of these names, down to the essence of who you are that you would be satisfied? What do these brands that you "must have" really do for you? For those of you who cannot pull away from these brands, that is a key question to ask yourselves. Instead of looking at tags and labels, take a look at the sky; it's a much better way to spend your time. For those of us to whom brands are meaningless, we need to speak up and not be ashamed of not being obsessed with this capitalist lie. For instance, who needs an $800 Burberry scarf? When one steps back and truly examines this, it appears ludicrous. If you must wrap yourself in expensive items while your soul is rotting, what good is it? How about mansions in the soul? Ultimately, the economic crisis is a spiritual crisis. Instead of filling the emptiness inside us with food (like me), cigarettes, alcohol, shoes, clothes, jewelry, maybe we can look for unseen things that can soothe the savage beast within us all!

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