This might sound a tad too gloomy for the Soul Detox series, but in fact it’s a powerful motivator to live life to the fullest.
“Life’s too short to…” this motivator is a meme in itself. Life is too short to read bad books, too short to drink bad wine, to waste your time, to be unhappy, to not follow your dream, to ___________________________ (fill in the blank).
It really is our times’ memento mori. If used wisely, this short mantra can help you:
-Unleash your inner power
-Fulfill your dreams and desires
-Say no to anything that’s not “yours”
-Embrace life and enjoy learning
-Be wise and not pay attention to unimportant things like rumours, toxic people or useless shopping frenzy.
THE FUN SOCIETY
There is another memento mori reading or understanding of course, by people who say “we’re gonna die anyway, so let’s have fun”.
While the very idea of fun may be highly individual, I have the feeling that the loud and advertised fun is something that’s only packaged as fun and sold as fun, but really isn’t; much like a “natural hand lotion” where ‘natural’ applies first and foremost to the petrochemicals used.
Normally, fun in our society today is associated with:
Going out! Having a party! Drinking and dining! Shopping and styling! Playing! Hedonism! Carpe diem! Feel the freedom! (Oh, yes, “freedom” is a copywriter’s favourite…)
All boiling down to a system created around us, unhesitantly spending money to feel good.
MEANING is FUN 2.0
Due to the technological progress of the latest years, another idea of fun emerged and took its place among the usual suspects or ideas of fun: express yourself. And this is probably the closest to fun and freedom in their proper meaning. Create and share (or sell) photos, videos, art, blog posts, looks, recipes, games, inventions… Something like Renaissance humanism, reloaded.
The independent entrepreneur is everywhere, and s/he’s very often not willing to compromise.
Something wonderful, if you ask me.
Granted, this one is still about spending money, but there’s a lot more learning and creativity AND networking involved – and with that, people meet more people, across all borders. They want to know what’s really in their beauty lotions, where their t-shirts and food come from, and what they are supporting. People seek to support creativity, change, fairness, and talent. I haven’t yet met anyone who willingly seeks to support poverty, exploitation, or cruelty.
MEET the WATCHDOGS
Customers are getting more and more savvy in regards of getting something real for their money. The learning affects customers, and this in turn affects brands and shops, and many watchdogs have become a household name.
Besides unveiling food nonsense (check out FoodBabe for North America, or foodwatch for Germany), toxic doings in industry and fashion business (Greenpeace Detox Fashion, among other projects), enviromental toxicity in industry, affecting areas from cosmetics to food and technology (Friends of the Earth or Bund.net in Germany who published the cosmetics ToxFox app; I wrote about here), there even are people who watch platforms like Etsy… in order to protect customers and authentic craftspeople alike from “not remotedly handmade” factory stuff resellers.
On a loosely related note & slightly off the topic: I totally missed that Regretsy, the original Etsy resellers and nonsense collecting blog with the motto ‘where DIY meets WTF’, closed earlier this year! But you might enjoy reading the Wired UK interview with the hilariously quick-witted founder April Winchell here.
BRANDS and ETHICS
Another trend: many local artisans or newly founded companies have ethical thinking in the core of their business.
For example, one of my favourite fashion designers
Anthracite donate 10% of the sales volume to animal welfare; and the green luxury cosmetics e-shop Amazingy plant a tree for each order.
There are brand new apparel brands that give back – like Moral Minority (that I discovered through this fab article on Daily Plate of Crazy) and Des Artistes (which I wrote about here).
We’ve talked about wonderful toxin free and vegan perfumes that give back earlier, and their maker, Barb Stegemann, recommends Sky Bracelet and Tom’s Shoes as her favourite for-profit charities. And you’ve already met (click!) Lyss, the founder of organic, molecularly integer, vegan, and fair-produced BLYSS cacao and chocolate. There are way more brands like those, just keep finding them!
I will for sure.
GIVING made EASIER
Apart from the quite rightly frowned-upon useless slacktivism, donating to charitable organisations is now made a joyful – or a very easy – experience. Just a few examples.
If you’re into photo art, check out this online photo community from Berlin called Photocircle – here you can get fine art prints or your own photography in fine art print quality and suport social projects worldwide with one click of the mouse. I also find that the Australian online foundraising platform JustGiving makes foundraising a modern, social and rewarding experience (they have now opened offices in Japan and the Netherlands as well). In most cities, you can easily donate food or money to local food banks while shopping.
In Berlin for example, you can donate money from the reverse vending machines to the local food bank Berliner Tafel by simply pushing one extra button or by rounding up the purchase sum at the cash desk.
So, how did I start with “life’s too short to” and end up with this wild better place safari?
Meaning is the new fun.
Life is too short to spend it having all the old fun.
Have a great start of the week, Adventurers! 😉