Billions of dollars go into telling and selling us that we need lifestyles filled with luxury goods, experiences, and services if we want to be seen as successful in the social comparison stakes. Over time social status, self-identity and self-worth have been more strongly linked to consumption, to the point of affluenza, defined as:
“A painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt,
anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.”
Which you have to admit, is not something to aspire to.
So, if we were to reinvent magnificence for a modern world, what form could it take and how would it convey status? We certainly don’t need more buildings!
Today, wildlife and the natural world are bereft of magnificence, with only 3% of non-government donations going to the environment and animals and an even tinier percentage to wild animals and pristine nature. By creating a new narrative about re-investing in conservation and the natural world as a way to demonstrate status and prestige, can we provide these elites an alternative to fulfil their self-image needs and a way to ‘win’ in the social comparison stakes?
By gaining status from contribution to nature and not consumption of the natural world this could liberate the funds to rehabilitate, reforest and rewild our planet. Let’s remember Extinction is the Vulgarity of Desire. By making conservation the new black, what a wonderful world it would be!
Stay tuned to this story… there is more to come.