HomeCommentaryIn the middle of flash sales, know thyself

In the middle of flash sales, know thyself

When shopping online, do we really know the product that we are buying? Or do we simply like it because it’s the "in" thing?

I’m pretty sure you’ve already seen the 12:12 offers of online shopping apps on social media. You might have also stayed up to12 midnight for the “flash sales.”

People would rather stay home and enjoy shopping online than visit a physical store and take the risk of being infected by the new coronavirus. The year-end sales of shopping malls have not created much impact compared to online sales, especially during the holidays.

It’s not new for Filipinos to prepare for Christmas despite what they went through during the year. We make ways to celebrate the holidays and it is manifested by our shopping.

There are times, however, that we are just pressured to shop and we lose our craving for an item after buying it. Consumers are often obsessed by the beauty of how products are presented instead of what it really is. It’s “expectation vs reality,” as they say.

When shopping online, do we really know the product that we are buying? Or do we simply like it because it’s the “in” thing?

“We buy things we don’t need, with the money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like,” said Edward Norton. Some consumers are guilty of it. It’s a betrayal of one’s being to become dependent on what others would think.

But how do we check ourselves if what we want meet God’s expectations of us?

- Newsletter -

Today is “Gaudete Sunday.” It’s Christmas, and the Gospel’s theme today transitions from the preparation for the “parousia” to the preparation for the nativity of Christ. Hence, it’s called “gaudete,” meaning “rejoice.”

In today’s Gospel reading, John the Baptist is described as “a man of God” who introduced himself as the voice that Isaiah prophesied to prepare the way.

Interestingly, John said that he is not the light that people around him thought. His preaching on repentance, righteous living, and deep devotion made people think that he was the promised Messiah to the Jews.

Many people prefer to live up the impression of society, but not in the case of John. He did not glory in his fame and did not take advantage of it. He never claimed to be the light just because people think he was “the voice that cries out from the dessert.”

Consenting to social impressions gives power to society to define what one should do and how one must act or think.

God has introduced himself to us through various ways, through the prophets, through the scriptures, and most importantly through experiences. At a personal level, the way to further know Him and His will is by taking this first step. Know thyself.

With so much noise in the world today, we have a difficult time hearing God’s voice, and for a moment, we mistakenly think that what we yearn for is God’s will.

One thing we can do to prepare for the coming of the Lord is by recognizing who we are because we cannot know others if we fail to touch the depths of our souls. What do we really want to do with our lives? As the “Pinoy Big Brother” show would say “Be who you are.”

We often hear the word “discernment.” It is a process of making a decision in the light of God’s will. It could be a choice of profession or a place to live in. It could be a choice to marry someone or to buy something. It’s a decision-making process to know God’s will.

A couple of times I would ask a friend how to discern, and I would often be told to pray in silence, in contemplation. But I am always reminded by the words of St. Ignatius of Loyola when he said “God speaks through our deepest desires.”

Adrian Banguis-Tambuyat is a young communication practitioner specializing in online content strategy and broadcast journalism. His interests are focused on social justice, youth formation, communication theology and mass media evangelization.

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