Happiness Cannot be Bought

November 10th, 2022
Reading time: 3 minutes

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
– Denis Waitley 

With the holidays quickly approaching, most of the Western world is preparing for what the season typically encourages—mass consumerism.

As I see the world trying to shift towards a socially and environmentally conscious system, I question if this trend of mass consumerism can continue to be the social norm. I believe it’s hard to predict, but I am optimistic that we can get away from over-consuming and focus on the essential things that genuinely matter—friends, family, and gratitude.

Some brands do an incredible job of instilling the idea of “less is more,” like Patagonia. Nearly 11 years ago this November, in 2011, Patagonia rolled out a bold position on Black Friday with their “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign, encouraging consumers to focus less on consumerism, essentially challenging the consumer to do the opposite of what they tend to do best—consume. 

Other companies that are encouraging the motto of “less is more” are:

At Brightmark, this “less is more” message resonates with us as we create a world without waste. We’re following the path paved by sharing our support for reducing mass consumerism. We encourage opting for something else—spending time with the ones you love, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, volunteering at a homeless or animal shelter, donating to your favorite organization, or engaging in any activity that focuses on doing for others instead of ourselves.

I want to end with this final thought. The definition of gratitude, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “the quality of being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” This word resonates with me powerfully because when I look around, I have so much to be grateful for—my children, my colleagues, the progress we’re making at Brightmark, and so much more. Another way we can show gratitude is to our planet by focusing on ways to waste less. I hope that whoever resonates with this message can reflect on all there is to be grateful for and practice gratitude in place of the narrative that insists we must “buy your happiness.”

With warmth and gratitude,
Bob Powell

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