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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Consumer habits – are they value-based or dictated by necessity?

Vieraskieliset / In-english
19.12.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

28.11. 14:01

Text: Suvi Myl­ly­mä­ki

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

Vesa Kum­pu­la’s re­cent post about mo­ney made me pon­der about what mo­ney me­ans to me per­so­nal­ly. I ag­ree with Vesa that mo­ney does not bring hap­pi­ness, but it does make life ea­sier. If mo­ney is tight, we have to choo­se what to spend it on, and we may not be ab­le to con­si­der ot­hers as­pects of con­sump­ti­on, such as how et­hi­cal, en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly or du­rab­le our choi­ces are.

I am li­ving a busy life with a lar­ge fa­mi­ly, and we con­su­me a lot of very ba­sic com­mo­di­ties. We haul home shop­ping bags full of milk, tooth pas­te, soap and toi­let rol­ls. We may or may not get we­alt­hier la­ter in life, when our ba­sic con­sump­ti­on dec­re­a­ses. And yet, we have eve­ryt­hing that we need.

Both ext­re­mes of ma­te­ri­al we­alth have been high­ligh­ted in the pub­lic dis­cus­si­on. I read an ar­tic­le about a lady who abs­tai­ned from bu­ying anyt­hing for a ye­ar. She rep­re­sen­ted the pros­pe­rous part of the po­pu­la­ti­on and felt she had been bu­ying too much just for the joy of bu­ying. At the ot­her ext­re­me, there are re­ports of pe­op­le li­ving in ut­most po­ver­ty.

In on­ce read an in­ter­view of a coup­le with five child­ren and a stay-at-home mot­her. They had to be ca­re­ful about their spen­ding. The wri­ter of the ar­tic­le, ho­we­ver, see­med to live in a dif­fe­rent re­a­li­ty. He wrote about the fa­mi­ly being so hard up that they even had to cut their kids’ hair. I had a good laugh about this. To me, cut­ting my kids’ hair is per­fect­ly nor­mal, not a sign of po­ver­ty. I re­mem­be­red this com­ment the last time I was cut­ting my boys’ hair, won­de­ring if I felt poor about it. I didn’t. I rat­her felt rich being the mot­her of those lo­ve­ly boys!

Con­sump­ti­on has al­so been seen as va­lue-ba­sed. The wri­ter of the ar­tic­le I re­fer­red to abo­ve said that con­sump­ti­on is like a re­li­gi­on. It is a ho­lis­tic view of life, not just so­met­hing su­per­fi­ci­al. Yet, the va­lu­es held by pe­op­le de­ri­ve from dif­fe­rent sour­ces. We al­so ex­pe­rien­ce things dif­fe­rent­ly. There are things that may be per­fect­ly nor­mal for one per­son, but a sign of po­ver­ty for anot­her.

The Bib­le en­cou­ra­ges us to cul­ti­va­te and pro­tect the land. I find this a good gui­de­li­ne for our purc­ha­sing be­ha­vi­or. If we look at the fu­tu­re, it seems we all could do bet­ter in this res­pect. Alt­hough I do not have so much mo­ney that I could was­te it on trif­les, it is still good to ca­re­ful­ly re­view my purc­ha­sing ha­bits. It is al­so im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that all pe­op­le are equ­al­ly va­lu­ab­le and that we should not ap­p­re­ci­a­te pe­op­le ba­sed on their ma­te­ri­al pros­pe­ri­ty.


Herra on kuningas! Riemuitkoon maa, iloitkoot meren saaret ja rannat! Pilvi ja pimeys ympäröi häntä, hänen istuintaan kannattavat vanhurskaus ja oikeus. Ps. 97:1–2

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