Inspiring Enough

Inspiring Enough

I’m really lucky. Every day, without much thought or effort, my basic needs are met. I get to breathe clean air, eat food whenever I want (and it’s almost always healthful, nourishing, and delicious — although those do take considerable thought and effort), and sleep on a comfortable bed. I am safe walking down the street. I have freedom to express my ideas and opinions. I have friends and family who love and support me. And lots, lots more.

I’m not saying this to gloat, I’m saying it because it’s really easy to forget all of these things. It’s in our natures to become accustomed to whatever level of, well, anything it is that we’re repeatedly exposed to, and to continually re-set that as our “baseline” perspective.

I recently received an email invitation from a public relations company about a recipe promotion for one of their clients. When checking it out, I clicked on a link to the firm’s website. Front-and-center on their homepage is the slogan: “Inspiring consumption, one creative idea at a time.”

Seriously? We really need to hire companies to inspire consumption?

There’s just something downright nasty about the word “consumption.” It implies that we’re never satisfied, that we never have enough, that we’re all just here to take and take and take. Is that the best inspiration we can muster?  Your spirit will be exalted if you just buy/have/eat/do more! …more, More, MORE!

That tagline, with its two efficient words, lifts the veil behind so much of our society’s current perspective on marketing and business. I’m not saying that all marketing,  advertising, or business is awful, mind you – quite the opposite, in fact: I believe that advertising can truly elevate rather than denigrate, when done right and with the right companies.

What’s oddest about this choice of words is that most of the clients featured on their website are growers and suppliers of whole, unprocessed foods. These are normally the PR opportunities I jump at, since they’re real, from-the-ground foods! (I turn down a lot of requests for processed stuff; I’m not quite sure how I got on those email lists!)

So why not say “inspiring health” instead?  (I’m sure the PR pros could come up with some better verbiage, but you get my point.)

This also resonates particularly strongly amidst the onslaught of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” deals already flooding my inbox, creating the nagging feeling that I need to buy more, eat more, drink more, and have more more more to be happy. And all those emails and ads sure aren’t what I’d call “inspiring.”

So this holiday season (and anytime, really), instead of asking yourself, “How much more can I have?”  How about asking, “Do I have enough?”

If the answer is “yes,” then be thankful. I sure am.

Bone for Turbo” © 2005 Rachel Gardner. Used under creative commons license.

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

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December 22, 2012 2:14 pm

Amen! Happy Holidays XOGREG

December 7, 2012 4:36 am

Well its very true that our economy has shifted production to consumer, because as technology is upgrading everyday simultaneously competition is taking place and there lots of options consumer have in competitive market and because of that consumer can move one product to another similar product.

November 30, 2012 6:27 pm

The only thing I need “more” of is time with the ones I love (including you). Thanks for posting this — I couldn’t agree more with your stance on marketing – can be used for good or evil.

November 28, 2012 8:33 pm

Once again, thank you! I find your blog to be one of my all-time favorites, consistently. I agree with much of what you say, & enjoy the variety of topics. I suppose if we could find a way to make contentment more financially profitable for some people, it would be a more popular sentiment. Thanks for being part of the grassroots effort to just promote & do what’s actually good for people. My belief is that God rewards stuff like that!

November 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Nice to meet you – I just found your site from Jamie Oliver’s weekly e-mails. Love your site and talking about eating real food

Katy G
November 23, 2012 12:24 pm

My husband and I find it amazing, in our quest to eat unprocessed and organic, just how driven people are to buy cheap food. We want the newest iPhone, the most digitally advanced cable, the car with all the fancy gadgets, but when it comes to how we nourish our bodies…whatever’s fast and cheap is best.

Reply to  Katy G
November 27, 2012 8:56 pm

Wow, this is a great comment! The blog post really puts things in perspective, and I love your point! Thanks!