Your goal in life, not to become anyone else, but become MORE YOU!
‘I wanna be like Mike!’
Do you remember those old-school commercials with Michael Jordan saying:
“I wanna be like Mike.”
Why was this so catchy?
First of all, it rhymed. Secondly, people wanted to BECOME Michael Jordan. He was the greatest athlete during his time, and everyone wanted to become more epic. Thus the notion was this:
If you buy Michael Jordan sneakers, you can become MORE LIKE Michael Jordan.
For example, if you wanted more dominance on the court, wearing “MJ’s” would give you more of an edge. People obviously know that wearing a pair of sneakers won’t magically turn you into Michael Jordan, but most people think is:
It will augment my innate abilities to a new level.
So the goal is with consumer purchases:
We want to take ourselves to the next level.
Why aren’t we allowed to be ourselves?
Why are we encouraged to become OTHER PEOPLE, and not encouraged to become more of ourselves?
My thought is this:
In modern society, we are DISCOURAGED to become ourselves, because of the notion of ‘original sin’, and the notion that the only legitimate person to imitate is Jesus.
In society we aspire towards messiah-figures. MJ was a messiah-figure in the realm of sports.
Also, Christian morality says:
Thou art a sinner and imperfect, and in order to gain eternal salvation in the afterlife, you must become LESS OF YOURSELF, and become more ‘holy’ and ‘virtuous’ (imitating Jesus Christ).
Modern (American) society is weird and contradictory.
This is the problem with American society:
All the desiderata (things we should desire and aspire towards) is contradictory.
For example, consider the ridiculous mis-mash of all these American notions:
- Duty to one’s family, country, nation, and community.
I feel the reason why consumerism and capitalism has worked well is this:
We all want to differentiate ourselves and gain ascendancy over other humans, but we are taught that we cannot do so without hurting the feelings of others (assuming we change our character and personality). Instead, the only ‘safe’ way to feel superior is to purchase certain things which augment our feeling of superiority.
Conclusion: Be proud of yourself!
Our new virtues:
- Shameless self-promotion
- Boastful pride
- In praise of (good conscience) bragging
Perhaps these new virtues will elevate us to the next level!
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