15 Confession of a Shopaholic

I had borrowed long term money to finance my education, buy a car, a house as also taken short term finances to travel abroad, shop for house hold items and other branded stuff. I knew I was in deep debt but I was cool with it as I could always pay it off.

It was not until much later that I realized that being in debt meant:

1. My future income has been used up today hence my future labors stood mortgaged.
2. My choices had been narrowed as I can just switch jobs not careers for the risks involved. Also I will never have the choice EVER to quit the race altogether.
3. Debt like alcohol is an addiction. After a point one loses control and it takes over life decisions.

It dawned on me that all these 3 meanings: 1) mortgage of future labor and income 2) lack of choices 3) Loss of control, were the symptoms of a practice which was abolished hundred of years ago when one person was beholden to another. That practice involved physically chaining people and was called slavery.

I froze upon the realization that I was a modern slave being driven around by a system that behaved as my landlord. The trick of the system I understood was, that it conditions me to wear its chains voluntarily, without me even realizing their initial weight. The deception works totally because first they stimulate my needs and then the chains of debt are offered as an aid to own things, to satisfy those needs.

The car I buy, fashions I subscribe to, healthcare I save for, insurances I purchase, costly educational institutes I attend are all priced by The Market which ironically prices not the need of its users but the greed of its producers. I understood that the market pricing was rigged in favor of producers and that I will always be asked to pay as much as those producers can possibly charge me.

These realizations made me feel like a puppet, who had been programmed to wear strings, for buying things he did not really need and at prices he could not really control.

I also understood that later, when chains will get heavy to bear, the system is banking on the fact that I will be too habituated to take them off.

I have now devised a simple method to help you test if you too are a slave to the system. To do that, I am not going to ask you to test your debt levels which was my entry point to slavery realization but on how much choice do you have in generating your income streams. Ask yourself this simple question:

“If money didn’t exist would I still get up every morning and do what I do for a living?”

If the answer is Yes congratulate yourself. If it is No, know that like me, you too are a slave.

Now in case you want to know what I do to break out of this situation….let me share with you one awareness, one insight and one joke that I hold on to.

The ongoing awareness of my debt chains breaks the hold system has on me. It dehypnotizes me from the continuous propaganda they issue to programme me. I keep reminding myself that unless I am on guard and hold fast to the realization of my chains, I will end up being in their custody.

The insight I want to share is embedded in the question above. If I only do things I am passionate about that is real freedom. Rest is all a form of slavery.

Finally to the joke which is in form of a dialog with a friend:

Friend: I want to buy a tank.

Vikas: Great, why don’t you get one.

Friend: Because they cost several million dollars not including floormats. I don’t have that kind of money.

Vikas: you are a consumer, you have credit cards right?

Friend: Yes, I have but if I buy it on CC how will I pay them back. They will come hard at me.

Vikas: Nonsense. You will have a tank wouldn’t you… to counter them.

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