I fell off the ‘consumer wagon’.

And yes, I bruised my butt when I landed squarely on it.

The wagon stopped, backed up and came to retrieve me. I jumped to my feet, threw my arms in the air and started running the other direction, screaming all the way.

And guess what, I outran the wagon. Yes, yes I did. When it was no longer in sight I hid. I hid in the bushes. Because I knew if the wagon found me, being all vulnerable at the time I could have been persuaded to climb aboard once again.

And that wagon was relentless, it searched high and low for me, it did. But I crouched lower and lower until I was at one with the ground, feeling the stench of the soil in my nostrils. I stayed like this for what seemed to be an eternity. Darkness fell, then light again, over and over, day after day. I slowly drifted in and out of consciousness. The wagon searched on, pacing back and forth like a hungry tiger looking for its prey. But I would not give up, give in, I would not falter. I was finally free of its grip and I would go down fighting if the need be.

Then just like that, it was gone, the wagon. One morning I awoke to sunny blue skies, the birds singing in chorus, the shadow of the wagon no more. It had given up, I was victorious.

I noticed at once that things looked different to me today. Sights were sharper, smells were sweeter, feelings were ‘lighter’, and I realized then that not only had I fallen from the wagon but that I had left all my luggage aboard. All that useless ’stuff’ that I had been carting from place to place. Now my hands were free, my head was clear, there seemed to be a skip in my step.

And so today, when the wagon goes on down the road I stand to the side and let it pass. It no longer attempts to stop and offer me a ride. It knows, what I know, all the offers of a free ride come with a heavy price tag, a very heavy price tag indeed.

Beware the consumer wagon

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