Saturday, August 27, 2011
Fairy Tales and Magic Spells
Growing up, I loved fairy tales. I was such a girly-girl, I wanted to live the life of a fairy tale princess. Of course, I always focused on the ending (and the clothes, of course) and not on the tragedy that was the impetus for the story. Often, the story began with a magic spell being cast upon one or more of the characters, or even upon the entire village. The magic spells that were cast had a way of making the characters see the world in a false way. Even though I've outgrown fairy tales, I've come to realize that magic spells do exist. My latest no-spending challenge has brought me to this discovery.
Marketing executives and psychologists work very hard at creating the consumer fairy tale. Buy this and you'll instantly be thinner, smarter, prettier, hipper, popular...you name it, the product exists to help sculpt the fairy tale. We see beautiful, affluent people in the advertisements, commercials, television programs, and movies and we want and expect what they have. The fairy tale tells us that all of that is within our grasp, if only we loosen our purse strings. And that, my friend, is the spell.
Having sworn off shopping (and, of course, frequenting stores), I've discovered there is a magic spell behind the fairy tale, without which the fairy tale will not function. By avoiding the media that spins the tale, I have discovered that I am immune to the magic. I don't feel like shopping and think of it as a time waster. In fact, I've become happy with my limited, yet very functional, wardrobe. Without the media telling me I need new electronics or furniture or anything else for my house, I find that I'm much more satisfied with what I do have. I've broken the spell and now want to live happily ever after, in the real tale.
It saddens me when I think of the people who, when confronted with this reality, don't want to hear it. They say it spoils their enjoyment of life, as if being a part of this never-ending quest is a satisfactory way to live. It can be painful at first to give up the dream, but it is really a dream that can never be attained. Once that realizations sets in, there is freedom in being released from the spell.
If you're interested in breaking the magic spell that has been cast upon us by Wall Street and Madison Avenue, I suggest embarking on a shopping moratorium. You may find yourself in your very own fairy tale, minus the evil spell.
(Photo source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/17899)