My muse was at it again. I was standing in the shower, trying to remember what was still clean that I could wear to work, mentally making a grocery list, and trying to remember to bring a pair of scissors to cut flowers by the roadside, when my spicy Irish muse jumped into my head with a great idea for a short story.
With barely enough time to brush my teeth and curl my hair, I asked her to come back later when I had more time to listen. That evening she returned, but I couldn’t hear her, as I was thrown off by the barrage of super-loud commercials in the background. Once again I was interrupted by the Life Or Death Happy Happy Flim Flam Man.
Every day we are bombarded with advertising, advice, inspiration, and warnings. We are overweight, wrinkled, and messy. Our bodies are toxic and we have yellow teeth. We don’t have time to sort, exercise, chop vegetables or play with our kids. But there is a cure for that ― just ask the Info Man.
The other day on the radio I heard that the infomercial business is a 30 billion dollar a year enterprise. Just think — 30 billion dollars spent a year on ways to clean-up, tighten-up, and detox-up our bodies and our minds. Not only can we firm our thighs and flabby under arms, but we can buy bling from movie stars while we’re firming. We can organize our closet, scrub up doggie accidents from the carpet, and slice up vegetables in one swoop.
How did we ever survive this long on our own?
Most of us wouldn’t mind being a little thinner or have beautiful hair or be able to drain spaghetti in the same pot as the drainer. But these informercials know just how to tap into our low well of confidence. Advertisers do such a good job of pointing out our inadequacies that we buy improvement on the spot without having to think about it or leave the comfort of our sofa. What a convenient way to get better!
I’m not against advertising. I learn about a lot of new products every time I watch TV or read a magazine or walk through the grocery store. I get tired of cleaning up spills on the carpet, and I keep thinking I’m too old for pimples. But finding a solution to my mini dilemmas should be fueled by my judgment, not advertisers. We shouldn’t let our insecurities rule our self-worth. We shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to feel better, think better, be better.
We have the capacity for unbounded love, compassion, and understanding. From astronomy to astrology, we have the power to discover magic both inside and outside of ourselves.
And discovering the magic doesn’t cost a thing.
There is something wrong when we are told how messed up we really are and how that can be changed with a quick purchase off the Internet. To believe that the answer for happiness and peace of mind is outside of us is playing into the hands of marketers and profiteers who take our money and our trust and leave no instructions behind ― people who have never met us, never sat at our dinner table, never took the time to find out why our closets are so disorganized in the first place.
So go out and buy that great pair of jeans or that diamondish necklace or those celebrity-endorsed pots and pans. But realize that you are just as fantastic in those beat up jeans with the elastic waist, and that your homemade lasagna will taste just as good in your worn out baking pan as it will in the latest non-stick wonder.
Sparkle is free. The fire inside of you is free. Everything else is just hype.
The only infomercial that matters is the one that broadcasts in your heart.