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Many consumers don’t even like themselves. In 2010, more people died from suicide than from war, murder and natural disasters put together.

Does it then seem like a good idea to keep creating ”a need to buy” fueled by the logic that the items will save the consumer from the uncomfortable feeling of not being good enough? When we all know that the item will only comfort for a short while, if at all.

The Social Divide

The Social Divide. Two and a half billion people on our planet subsist on less than $2 per day. Although there have been many successful attempts to lift people out of poverty, this number, 2.5 billion, has not changed much over the past several decades. In addition we see an increasing polarization in society in which the top 1 percent has a greater collective worth than the entire bottom 90 percent.

The Ecological Divide

The Ecological Divide. We are depleting and degrading our natural resources on a massive scale, using up more nonrenewable precious resources every year. Although we have only one planet earth, we leave an ecological footprint of 1.5 planets; that is, we are currently using 50% more resources than our planet can regenerate to meet our current consumption needs. As a consequence, one third of our agricultural land has disappeared over the past 40 years. Rapidly falling water tables are taking us on a path toward food riots. Food prices are expected to double by 2030.

The Spiritual-cultural Divide

The Spiritual-cultural Divide. While the ecological divide is based on a disconnect between self and nature, and the social divide on a disconnect between self and other, the spiritual divide reflects a disconnect between self and Self—that is, between my current “self” and the emerging future “Self” that represents my greatest potential. This divide is manifest in rapidly growing figures on burnout and depression, which represent the growing gap between our actions and who we really are. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000 more than twice as many people died from suicide as died in wars.

Without identifying the problems we cannot recognize the solutions.