Way back in undergrad I majored in Philosophy because I actually wanted to study wisdom. At the time I didn't give much thought to how that choice would (not) benefit me in the marketplace.
I didn't think about it because I did not view myself as a market dweller, but as an earth dweller. I don't live in a mall. I live on a planet.
Twenty-six years later, and I feel even more disconnected from the myth that our lives are intended for constant gorging, buying, wasting, numbing, rushing. No thank you.
My identity is anchored in love. Not stuff. And I'm currently organizing my entire life around this truth. I know the things my soul longs for, and none of it is merchandise. Well, maybe a little is merchandise (technology!), but it's not the main thing. It's the supporting thing.
So one day I just found myself completely out-of-step with culture's push to earn and burn. My heart demanded more of me. When I tried to make it conform (ouch!) and go mainstream, it called me a liar. That is no way to live, in constant disagreement with yourself, and your values.
I started daydreaming about a simple, unhurried low-carbon life that would support my desire to study, write, create, explore, and make beauty and harmony. Because those are the kinds of pursuits you can give yourself to when you're not chasing dollars, like a rodent trapped on a wheel.
After coming to peace with the fact that I was not put on this planet to collect and compare possessions, I took on the tingly assignment of asking myself:
"Well, why then? Why were you put here, if not to make money and buy stuff?"
I'd be honored if you shared your answer below.