Website owner:  James Miller

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Endless wants put people on a treadmill

   The treadmill.  So many people in modern America find 
   themselves on it.  And it is a treadmill powered not so much by 
   basic needs and necessities as by endless fanciful wants.  It 
   is their fanciful wants, their desires for things they don't 
   really need, that put them on the treadmill and hold them 
   there.  What do I mean?  I mean their wants for things, 
   possessions, luxuries and pleasures --- for nice houses, fancy 
   motor vehicles, good food, fun vacations, etc. --- put them on 
   a treadmill and keep them there.  How do these wants put them 
   on a treadmill?  Well, when people go out and buy whatever 
   their hearts may desire they almost never pay cash.  They 
   almost always do it by borrowing.  They borrow when they buy a 
   house, in the form of a house mortgage.  They borrow the money 
   when they go out to buy car, in the form of auto financing.  
   And for a whole lot of the rest of the things that they buy 
   they use credit cards and pay a little every month at 
   exorbitant interest rates.  And if you borrow money you put 
   yourself under a yoke, you commit yourself to a treadmill.  You 
   give yourself obligations that you must tend to.

   People are followers.  They are like sheep.  They follow.  They 
   copy.  If their neighbor has some new gadget, then they want it 
   too.  If their friend has a thing then they also want one.  If 
   some new thing is in fashion and everyone is getting it, then 
   they go out and get one also.  Mind influences mind.  They do 
   what others do.  If others are doing something, they do it too.  
   Instead of thinking for themselves and acting independently, 
   they follow others.  They are creatures of impulse and desire.  
   They want this and they want that.  And they just have to have 
   this and they just have to have that.  They are driven by 
   appetites.  They want, the food looks tempting, they eat it, 
   and then they must pay for it.  They want, they buy, and then 
   they are stuck with another financial obligation.  And with 
   each addition to their financial load their job becomes even 
   more important.  It is the only means they have of meeting 
   their obligations.  A threat to their job is a threat to their 
   lifeline.  They are on a treadmill.  They are a slave to the 
   system.  And as new wants result in new purchases and new 
   financial obligations, as their financial load increases, the 
   wife must take a job to help meet the obligations.  Then they 
   have to start paying for childcare for their children, making 
   for new expenses.  And before they know it heavier financial 
   burdens are forcing them to look for second jobs and their 
   treadmill is revving up, they are being forced to pedal faster 
   and faster.  They furiously pedal away at the bilge pump to 
   keep the boat from sinking. 

   People want, they borrow, they buy, and they don't think about 
   the paying back.  Driven by wants, they dig holes for 
   themselves that are hard to get out of.  They satisfy their 
   appetites but lose their freedom.  They become slaves to a 
   treadmill of their own making. 

   Nature requires little, fancy much.  Better to curb the 
   appetite and shun the bait than to struggle in the snare. 

   Apr 2001

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