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When We Abide by 'Bigger Is Better,' How Much Is Society Really Lacking?

July 07, 2002

While Patrick Kiger does an excellent job documenting the wretched excess of our times ("Living Ever Larger," June 9), his article raises a host of unanswered questions. What are the consequences of attempting infinite growth on a finite planet? If our needs are indeed created by corporate propaganda (i.e. marketing), can we truly call ourselves free? If our intellect cannot subjugate our "reptilian brain," are we doomed to the same fate as the dinosaurs? (Having produced Excursions, Explorers and Expeditions, maybe Ford should call its next model Extinction.) Some people have succeeded in consciously limiting consumption and living minimally but comfortably. How are they able to achieve this while the masses blindly allow themselves to be hypnotized by the mantra of bigger is better, more is better, and faster is better?

Philippe Vermeyen



It is a generally accepted notion that the need to oversize is a way to compensate for a perceived shortcoming. So what are we lacking as a society that keeps us addicted to excess? Direction? Compassion? Morality? Discipline? Maybe all of the above and more. The tragedy is that the resources required in our never-ending quest for more prevent us from enjoying what we work for and the relationships that could provide true wealth. As long as we place more value on what we have, instead of on how we live, we will continue to have super-sized lives and empty souls.

Linnie Frank


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