Conspicuous Consumption

This post is about how we look at the same things, differently. As the title indicates, my thinking lately has been about conspicuous consumption. Several postings will come this next couple of weeks, through the Holiday Season about this... but let's look first at how we all seem to look at things differently... perhaps because we have different perspectives (from where we stand, we see altogether different things and even when we are standing together we will see the same thing differently.

The two blooms in the picture above are from Lynnda's collection of hybridized hibiscus... the gold(ish) flower is known simply as 'Path'. This was the first time we had seen Path, it is a nine inch wide bloom, and has been out for three days, as I write this. The purple(ish) bloom is 'Nightfire'. We have had this plant in Nova Scotia where we keep it inside eight months a year. Both these plants demonstrate how we view things differently... people in Nova Scotia might look at them as too much work, but they grow around the yard here in Florida. Lynnda likes to compare blooms, I like to look deep into the bloom near the stamen base to see the color, strength and character of the bloom.

The next two pictures demonstrate how you can look deeper and deeper into a bloom, and the third, Nightfire, how you can see in its depth, the strength and character of the bloom.

Of course, the plant is showing off for the insects, and has a completely different perspective... than what we have as we click on the pictures to enlarge them, to see more clearly the structure and color of the bloom. I am not certain I am getting anywhere with this analogy, so why don't I just hope you like Path and Nightfire... we have lots more different hibiscus and hope to display them, occasionally, here.

This past few weeks have had a dramatic impact on my thinking about what is important in our society... and how different people believe differently; and sometimes have disparaging beliefs about what is important to others. Like many, we have been looking at the gyrations of the economies of Canada and America in their schizophrenic relations with currencies, oil, trade, regulations, and even a Ponzi Master.

I sometimes wonder if the collective 'WE' learn anything from these cycles... anything enduring, that is.
Will we learn anything that endures long enough to help our legacy population survive, and perhaps with learning, thrive?

What I have learned is that conspicuous consumption and greed have a lot in common. These two phenomenons seem to often coexist. And they are not pretty. Think about it, I will come back to this.

Hope you like the blooms.


ron said…
These blooms are especially pleasing as we look out on a field of white snow. But your 'ponderings' also made me think of what I've been reading about the drastic decline in bee populations in Ontario and, I think, elsewhere over the past few years. The article had to do with the conversion of an old dump - unsuitable for housing - in Guelph, Ontario, into a 'bee garden', a site devoted to providing a large bee friendly environment.

One of the points made in the article was that many of the highly cultivated flowers we put in our gardens are not particularly rich in pollen. They 'mislead' the bees with their spectacular blossoms but deliver little.

So there's another way of looking at those blossoms. Could they be a misleading illusion?

And based on that, might we also make similar misjudgements about what look to us to be healthy and 'rich' economic environments?

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