This reflection reminds us of the teachings of Centesimus Annus No. 36, outlining the flaws of consumerism – which does not sustain a healthy growth. We are reminded of the problem with wanting a style of life presumed better because it is directed towards having rather than being.

‘It is not wrong to want to live better; what is wrong is a style of life which is presumed to be better when it is directed towards “having” rather than being’ Centesimus Annus – “The Hundredth Year” (1991), paragraph 36

Consumerism is grounded on unbridled desire, on covetousness without limits. Without acertain a limiting of desire there is no possibility of sustaining healthy growth, a growth that does not harass and violate our mother earth and leaves something to be shared in solidarity with the poor.

Consumerism is hitting hard at the roots of sustainability of life by polluting our rivers – and by making the means of production against pollution the object of lawsuits; transnational companies claim compensation for earnings that would have come over to their coffers, were it not for expenses incurred to secure the air against acid rain or the rivers against chemical waste.

Consumerism is the serpent undermining our dreams of paradise on this earth. Paradise means fresh, clean air, unpolluted waters and diminishing greenhouse effect and food for the billions of hungry or malnourished people on this planet.

Juan Hernández Pic



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