The Empty Promise of Consumerism Summarized On One Receipt Written by joshua becker · 43 Comments A friend of mine recently returned some items to a large online retailer (no need to mention the store specifically—that’s not the point). After the return, she showed me the receipt. This is what it said: “The perfect find is still out there. See you next time.” In some ways, I can’t think of a better summary of the empty promises of consumerism. Doesn’t that thought, arbitrarily printed by the retailer, display perfectly both the promise and subtle nature of consumerism promoted by our culture and advertising (even on return receipts)? *The perfect find is still out there. The message? “There is a purchase out there, entirely perfect for you, that will fill the void in your life that you need to fill. Whatever that need is, there is a purchase that can improve your life. The problem with this purchase isn’t that you are looking for another physical item to fill your needs… it’s that you purchased the wrong one. Just because this purchase wasn’t perfect for you doesn’t mean the next one won’t be. You just need to keep looking. So keep looking, keep buying, keep accumulating.” *See you next time. “You’ll be back. We know you’ll return. The trappings of consumerism are simply too difficult to overcome. And even though you spent money on things you didn’t need last time you were here; something tells us you’ll be back soon enough to try it again.” — Messages encouraging consumerism surround us every day. Sometimes they are subtle, sometimes they are loud and in your face. But the more we allow the empty promises of consumerism into our thinking and behaviors, the more common and accepted they become. At some point, they need to be exposed. At some point, we need to take a stand against them personally and begin a movement of people rejecting those empty promises and looking for life elsewhere. Let’s start with you and me. Our lives deserve better.