Over the past number of years I have had a growing awareness of Western culture the more I question my own environment while learning about the world. Early in this questioning, easily, it started being pointed out to me the obsession the West (and virtually any affluent society) has with consumerism. We love things. We all know the phrase “money doesn’t buy happiness,” yada yada, but we certainly don’t believe it (and maybe that’s somewhat valid). One speaker I enjoy has pondered if aliens visited Earth, tasked with finding the meaning of life by observing us, these aliens might conclude it is to buy things.
I’m not interested in writing another blog about consumerism and its relevant ethics, but rather what is behind consumerism – something I find to be far more profound these days and relevant to my journey here in Uganda: desire.