Brilliant Miller's Blog
Humans and Our Insatiable Desires
How a Target Store Helped Me Become Aware of My Mind’s Insatiable Desires
The Super Target near my house opened nearly 30 years ago.
When it first opened, I’d never been in a store quite like it. It was so BIG – (at about 180,000 square feet, it’s roughly 80 times the size of the average American house) – and it was so full of stuff: electronics, books, toys, sporting goods, home décor, groceries, etc etc etc.
It was an impressive expression of materialism, capitalism and consumerism.
But for me, as a teenager, it was fun.
I spent my first few visits learning the store’s layout. It was the first time I’d experienced the simple act of shopping as a form of entertainment, a pastime.
On subsequent visits, when I walked into the store, I’d find myself mentally scanning the various departments to think about what I *might* want to buy.
I’d invariably find something—a new notebook, a puzzle or a pack of gum. Something I didn’t really need. Something I’d been living just fine without prior to entering the store, and hadn’t gone there to buy.
At the time, I wasn’t aware of my mind’s searching. Its appetite. It was an unconscious, automatic, and unrelenting process.
It still is, really. It’s just that today, I’m more conscious of it, and I don’t yield to it like I once did.
Today, I rarely visit a Super Target, but when I walk in, I’m aware when that mental process kicks in. I find it interesting. Amusing, really.
Then I buy what I came to buy and go on with my day.
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