Sunday, September 12, 2010

Manufacturing Unhappiness

Everything is amazing and no one is happy as coined by Louis C.K.

A capitalistic society automatically manufactures unhappiness. In order for people to be transformed into consumers, they need to genuinely believe that the things they have are not good enough. They need to, from the very depths of their souls, develop a lust for materialistic gains.

Needless to say, that is not in our fitrah or our innate character when we are brought into this world. Perhaps some competition and some of our desires are natural. But the way we have come to perceive our needs is wholly and undeniably unnatural. We are no longer able to differentiate between our wants and needs! I NEED a new phone, I NEED a car, I NEED this beauty product to be presentably pretty. Nothing is ever about wanting anymore.

From the day we're born, we are constantly inundated with advertisements that make us feel bad about ourselves. Every single form of media out there propagates insecurity until human beings are stuffed so full of hatred of themselves, that they would spend all their wages and more to buy things. And the sad thing is, those things will never fill that unhappy void.

Look in the mirror, talk to yourself. Chances are that you hate something about your body, especially if you're female. You want the "flawless" body of Megan Fox and a timelessly beautiful face like Scarlett Johansson (not that I particularly admire these women, but they are rated as being amongst the most beautiful women int he world).

Okay, so you want to be beautiful, stunning even. What else do you want need?

A nice car, or two or three.
A big house, professionally decorated of course.
Admiration of people.
A summer cottage.
A boat maybe?

Pretend for a moment that you have all of those things, and whatever else you "need." Then will you be happy?

If you answered "yes," you have a rude awakening coming your way. Because guess what? You have been taught to hate yourself so much, that once you receive that rock-hard body, you'll think you need breast implants. And once you have those, you'll think your breasts are too big.

And once you have your beautiful house, it will seem hollow and empty and not cozy - so you'll install a fireplace. But it won't really change the fact that you are hollow and empty inside. Once you have your immaculate car, a newer model will come out, and you will absolutely need it.

And you'll race yourself to obtain material goods until the day you die. And then no one will remember you.

All because you hate yourself to begin with. You feel so incomplete that every day is the same struggle to add things and people into your life so you can finally feel whole...does it work?

Our society manufactures unhappiness so that you will need to be a different person than you are - so that you will buy their products, enroll in their gyms, want every latest techy gadget out there, and the biggest and the bestest of everything.

I never knew I could just wake up one day and decide to be happy instead. I never knew. And it makes me so angry to know that I wasted parts of my life pretending to need things that, when obtained, only made me feel worse about myself, more lonely, and less beautiful.

Personally, I can't ever imagine being happy without the blessing of Islam and the spirituality that accompanies it. To know that God is Al-Jabbar: the Repairer, Restorer, The One who completes that which is incomplete. When I learned that Name of God, it floored me. Absolutely floored me and challenged everything I thought I knew about what it meant to be repaired and complete. I know now that solace will never be found in things.

So look in the mirror again - and make a list of the things that you love about yourself. The things that are unique and beautiful and that you wouldn't ever change. Count every one of your blessings. And as God says, you will never be able to enumerate them all.

You are the only one who can decide to be happy. And when you decide to love yourself, even with the ridiculous flaws you have, YOU will be capitalism's worst nightmare.

And that's awesome.

8 comments:

yaser said...

relevant: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

sara said...

:)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this is out there for people to read. Masha'Allah.

Asmaa said...

Yaser, that is an amazing video - thanks for sharing. Everyone else - watch it!

Sara, right back at you dude.

Anon, I'm glad too. I hope people find some solace in it. If they do, my intention is fulfilled :)

Nauman said...

Very nice post... good job.

Herman The German said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xz7edbxACo

Alaa said...

This is one post that I'll have to come back to read every so often.
I'm thankful for you and your blog :)

Anonymous said...

I really like this post of insiteful thinking and gosh darn ain't this the truth!!!!! Especially as I cruise through blogs that are all about fashion and beauty..... keep writing.
doreenmccabe.blogspot.com