Dollars and Sense

The True Cost Of That Full Shopping Cart

Have you ever seen one of those game shows where the contestants run around like crazy, throwing things into their shopping cart without a second thought? The winner is usually determined by whichever team had the cartful of items with the highest value when the buzzer sounded.

How often do we act like one of those contestants, in an unofficial competition with those around us to have more in order to “win” at life and be “successful”?

Unlike the game shows, there’s a real cost involved in trying to fill your “cart” faster than your neighbor’sdebt, long hours working to pay for sustaining your image, relational stress from arguing over purchases our partners made that we don’t agree with.

It’s so easy to forget that the coworker with the new luxury car might not actually be able to afford the payments. The friend who just went on another vacation might be drowning in credit card debt. The couple with the huge 5-bedroom house could be behind on the huge mortgage that goes with it.

It is easy to forget that he or she with the fullest “cart” isn’t the most “successful.” We are bombarded with messages and advertising daily trying to convince us otherwise, that success is found in being able to have all sorts of nice material things. We get caught up in comparing ourselves (and what we have) to others so easily that we may not even be aware we’re doing it. But life should not be a competition.

When we look back on our lives someday, how many of the things that fill our “cart” will be a result of fulfilling a need to be “successful” by the world’s standards? What will these things have cost us besides money?

 

(Image from pixabay.com)

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