How unmet Emotional Needs lead to Unconscious Greed, and why an Amazon 'Fulfillment Centre' is not the answer to your happiness.
"When people experience internal unrest, if they don't look inside for inner harmony and peace (which is the only real place we can actually find it), they will look outside to satisfy their unmet emotional needs. It's just how the human psyche works".
This week I attended a seminar on how to sell products on Amazon. The reason I attended was, as a complete beginner on this topic, to get some good information on the ins and outs of selling on Amazon, in case it might be a useful adjunct to my business.
However, I was clear as I was going into the seminar that I was in two minds:
Despite my reservations, I went to the seminar, just in case I might find something which could be a right fit.
I found myself shocked, and sickened.
It was, as I had feared, blatant consumerism.
In my ignorance, I had anticipated it would be a seminar about helping me identify and personally create a product which relates to my already current business (of emotional healing).
But I was wrong.
The entire premise of the strategy being taught, was that you source a really cheap product from a supplier somewhere in the world, and then repackage it at a significantly higher price, and sell it on Amazon, with the one and only goal of making a large profit. There was no mention of finding something which is first and foremost to serve people or the planet in a better way (apart from the fact that some of the products are becoming 'eco-friendly' than in the past).
Amazon does all the packaging and 'fulfillment' for you: you don't even touch the product - you organize the buying from the supplier, design and organize re-labelling, and then Amazon sells it for you through their 'fulfillment' centres. As they showed through case studies, the financial rewards can be significant, with some people earning millions of dollars.
Now, in my mind there is nothing wrong with making money or purchasing products, as long as it does not harm, or does minimal harm, to anyone or anything.
This is where the integrity of this kind of business doesn't seem to fit with my morale code. And let me side-track for a moment for why this is, to a life-changing experience I had over 20 years ago...
In 1999 I travelled to the beautiful island of Samoa in the South Pacific. It still is to this day a relatively unspoilt (by tourism) island, but back then it was even more so. I was there for a couple of months, during which time I also travelled by cargo ship to the remote islands of Tokelau.
Whilst in Tokelau I was shocked at the damage on the islands as a result of the inhabitants not having anywhere to dispose of their modern (plastic etc) rubbish. The islands had become in essence a massive rubbish dump - the beaches and common areas were piled high with rubbish and flies were everywhere. It was a shocking and eye-opening experience.
Back in Samoa after my trip, I found myself on a deserted beach. I was the only visitor and rented a typical open fale to live in for a few days. At the time I was reading a book by the well-known environmentalist David Suzuki.
As I read the book, for the first time ever I had a recognition that would forever change my life. It seems silly to say it now, because it should have been obvious, but at the time it was a revelation:
I realized that every single man-made object that we see in our environment around us comes from out of the earth or from an animal. Every single thing.
Every piece of metal in a car, every kitchen utensil, every piece of office equipment, bedroom furniture, stereo equipment, shoes, containers, toiletries, gifts, clothing, jewellery... EVERYTHING is made from a source material which comes from the earth or an animal.
How come I had never thought of this before? And I started to think to myself WHERE were all these materials coming from (ie where are these 'holes in the ground'?) HOW were all these raw materials made into something completely different?
My mind exploded with the recognition of how natural materials and animal products are made into objects which we use every day, and take for granted as just 'being there' (in the shops).
Back in New Zealand I walked around shopping malls in shock. In particular, large warehouses filled to the ceiling with thousands of products, many of which to my mind are unnecessary, left me agasp at the reality of how the earth was (is) consistently being plundered to meet our insatiable and unnecessary greed.
So this brings me back to the Amazon seminar...
During the seminar the presenter stressed how offering products on Amazon is about meeting people's 'EMOTIONAL NEEDS'.
Yes and No, and actually more NO.
If we want to be really accurate, this kind of mindless selling and buying is all about meeting people's UNMET EMOTIONAL NEEDS.
When people experience internal unrest, if they don't look inside to re-establish inner harmony and peace (which is the only real place we can actually find it), they will look outside to satisfy their unmet emotional needs. It's just how the human psyche works.
And for many people this attempt to fulfill unconscious internal disharmony will be done through SHOPPING.
Trust me, I've been there: I've been the mindless shopper, trying to fill my unmet emotional vacuums through that new shiny object.
But the problem is, every new shiny object quickly loses its shine, or wears out, or breaks. It's not that we don't need things in our everyday life to live - of course we do. We need clothes, and transport, and kitchen utensils, and beds. But we don't need what is more than necessary. We just need what is essential.
So as the seminar presenter stressed how by offering these repackaged products to people in order to make high profits that we were meeting people's emotional needs, I sat sickened in my chair thinking to myself 'no - this is just meeting peoples' greed'. The greed of the buyer and seller.
And this CANNOT GO ON.
There is not one speck of doubt that the world is in ecological crisis, and that blatant unconscious consumerism, which is the result of man's unconsciousness and 'out of touchness' with nature (including his own True Nature), is largely to blame.
We must become more responsible, which means more self-responsible. Every time we go to buy something, especially a 'solid' product which has used the earth's and / or animal resources to make, we must check in with ourselves 'do I really need this?'.
Because it is only by STOPPING buying unnecessary products, so the demand for them reduces, that suppliers will stop making them, and therefore put a halt to the original resources being plundered.
Spiritual teacher and Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh recently spoke about the need to stop our blatant consumerism, warning us that "we must look beyond our separate selves to save Mother Earth from climate change" predicting "the possible collapse of civilisation within 100 years as a result of runaway climate change".*
He says "our addiction to material goods and a hectic lifestyle provides only a temporary plaster for gaping emotional and spiritual wounds, which only drives greater loneliness and unhappiness".
This is we have to look WITHIN to heal those parts of ourselves which are crying out for emotional nurturing, for 'fulfillment'.
The answer to your fulfillment lies within you. This is where your true joy and harmony reside, and it's up to you to find it! And part of this will require looking at your unmet emotional needs, and refilling them in healthier ways other than an insatiable desire for external objects (which is something all my clients learn to do).
This is why I teach what I teach: emotional healing and internal fulfillment. And why transformation of consciousness is paramount for personal happiness and the healthy future of the planet.
So please think twice before you feel that 'urge' to buy something potentially unnecessary which is going to cause more harm to the planet or animals.
If we are going to truly 'save' the earth, we MUST change these buying and selling habits, and it starts with each one of us, one person at a time.
PS - Apologies Amazon - you have an amazing online system, but I am disagreeing with the mindless selling and buying of unnecessary products which people do not need which causes harm to the planet as a result of them being made, sold and bought.
Learn the radical importance emotions play in your life, and why your health, happiness and success literally depend on how well you deal with your feelings. Read more...
If you want to build a strong, safe building which will last for years, it must have a solid foundation. Emotional management and transformation involve a combination of theory and practice. The EA level one training teaches the necessary theory for laying a strong foundation, upon which further EA levels are built. The information in this module will revolutionize the way you think about and understand emotions, and sets the stage for learning how to self-process negative emotions from your body-mind. Read more...
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