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The good, the bad, and the self-indulgent

Ángel Marroquín

In a torture room, there are always two torturers: the good guy and the bad guy. While the good guy tells you “I want to help you”, the bad guy hits you hard. There comes a time when the good guy tells you “help me to help you” or “help me to protect you from such animal.” Then you know that you are in trouble.

The same thing happens in daily life: we are faced with a situation that offers us tempting opportunities and at the same time threatens our security: a new and exciting job that is taking all our free time, a new and exciting love infatuation, alcohol and rock and roll, fancy food, Twitter or Facebook, and so on. Behind these apparent and real temptations, there is nothing but an unbridled desire for self-indulgence. The good guy in the torturer`s room. We all know the bad guy; he has a thousand names, and one of them is “reality”.

The problem is that the intensity of this capricious desire motivates us, with an increasing force, to satisfy it as soon as possible. As the old joke tells: “We go out to walk the dog and the dog ends up walking us”. This may seem simple, ordinary and laughable to us, inhabitants of the 2000s, but it has serious consequences for future generations, whose survival is increasingly dependent on the decisions we are making today.

How many of the desires that we are willing to satisfy are not related to conspicuous consumption? How many of these things are really necessary, or at least truly satisfying us? Isn’t the excess of publicity, to which we are subjected, that makes us wish what we don’t need?

Doesn’t it seem to you that the logic of self-indulgent consumption is leading us to lose sight of the simple things that make us who we are? Beings who don’t need to live under any kind of friendly constraint. In other words, free beings who are free to say, “I do not need it”.

Yes, it is true, we are lost; but if you think about it in the long run, the torture room disappears.

(c) Photography by Sebastián Silva.






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