investing in ourselves

We hear a lot about how much other people are worth in the news. We hear about crazy diets and how quickly whichever flavor of the week lost their baby weight. There are endless snapshots of seemingly perfect bodies on luxurious vacations that most of us will never have the opportunity to enjoy. Well-crafted ads appeal to our subconscious need to be a part of the tribe in an effort to keep us wanting and therefore spending.

But, most of this (mis)information that we are bombarded with is simply a form of elaborate distraction. It is designed to make us forget about the people and things that really matter in favor of what we must buy because everyone cool is doing it.  The media (quite successfully) tells us that we are not pretty/smart/strong enough if we don’t have a certain product.  We are even convinced that if we simply don’t have or do something we are out of the loop and therefore not part of the real human experience.

Unfortunately, our obsessions with what the media tells us that we need/want/have-to-have seems to actually be making life worse. In fact, it seems that when our mothers used to ask “and if so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” the honest answer should have been yes.

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these eggs cost a little more and are not all perfectly bleached white eggs, but they are still delicious and happen to be healthier than conventional eggs (looks aren’t everything)…

We have no problem buying a $600 iPhone, but balk at the idea of paying an extra $2/lb. for meat that came from a farm where the cows were treated humanely and not pumped full of antibiotics. We don’t have time to cook dinner at home, but have no problem waiting 2o minutes in the drive-thru line.  We complain about the NSA and the government are infringing on our right to privacy, but freely give away our most private data to Facebook without batting an eye. More people vote for American Idol than for the President and then are confused when the country can’t get its act together.

It is so ingrained in the societal mentality that things and convenience are the most important and that the only way to be worth something is to have brand-name this or that, that even people living in poverty sometimes choose to invest what money on stuff, rather than investing in themselves in an effort to help break the cycle of poverty.

But why?  If this system is so good, why are we fat, tired, depressed, unsatisfied and lonely? 

Neither the answer nor the solution are simple, but it is quite obvious that we are all focusing on the wrong things.

This needs to change.  We need to focus on ourselves and the truly important things in life.  Our health, our happiness and our relationships with those around us.  These are the things that make us human – the things that give us our true sense of self-worth.  We need to take the time to say please and thank you.  We need to think before we act and treat others with respect – even if they are completely different than us.  The long-term consequences of our actions need to be considered before our actions are made.

This is investing in ourselves.

Of course, this is not easy, but very few things in life that are worth it are easy.  I am taking the first step in my life.  I am switching to locally sourced foods (as often as possible…there are no bananas growing in Berlin, but I don’t want a peanut butter and beet smoothie in the morning).

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It will mean eating less, but better.  It will mean really thinking about how I spend my money and even my time.  It may even be hard because I loveee to eat.  But, I want this and I know that it is better in the long-run.  I know that I am worth the investment.

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So tell me, what do you want?  How are you investing in yourself?

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6 thoughts on “investing in ourselves

  1. I had a similar realization regarding food about a month ago … and we signed up for our first CSA! A lot of this really resonates with me. I want to slow my life down so I can actually start as irony my life. In a way, the go-go-go mentality is also all about “consumption.” Just in a different way.

  2. Hello! I’ve been finding your posts really helpful. 🙂 May I know where you buy locally-sourced food in Berlin? Also, I’ve only found frozen kale so far. Would love to buy it fresh. Hope you can let me know if and where you’ve bought it. 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your kind words!

      I tend to buy locally sourced foods at farmers’ markets. You just have to look for the words “aus unsere eigine Herstellung”. Finding a specific crop this time of year is hit or miss. You can pretty much always find potatoes, eggs and apples, but other things you just have to be lucky and/or early…

      There is a market on Kollowitzplatz and Boxhangerplatz on Saturdays and the Turkish Market on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also go in just about any Bio-Markt and find some stuff that is produced locally – there are even a few Bio-Markt farms on the outskirts of Berlin.

      Good luck and have a super day!

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