American Mindset.

7 Oct

The “American Mindset” is decidedly an over generalization of what we could actually call the “replacement  mindset.”  This mindset is fueled by the commercialization of society…where everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses.  And where everyone is the Joneses.

I remember growing up in Lagos…we only got new clothes at Christmas…and those clothes were passed on down to siblings and even cousins.  Textbooks were passed on down to siblings, cousins, second cousins and next door neighbors.

Shoes are worn for years and patched up when necessary.  Clothes could easily be repaired by traveling tailors or “obioma.”  Anything purchased was purchased for the long haul.  If you went to the market and came home with food in grocery bags, those bags were emptied, washed and re-used over and over and over again.  In my hometown, everything IS recycled.  Cement bags are used to store market ware, old mattresses are cut up and used as sponges, even sand that washes onto our compound during the June/July rainy season was shoveled up and sold to construction companies.  The only time anything new was purchased was when the old no longer existed, no substitute was available and no “Tokunbo,” (previously used Western product)  or “Adetokunbo” (a resold previously used Western product) or “Ademola Adetokunbo” (previously used Nigerian product) was easily found to be purchased.  And when said brand new item was purchased, it was usually time for a mini-celebration.

It took me a while to get out of doing things the old way.  I had to learn that I would not be struck by the god of wasteful spending if I got myself a new bag or pair of shoes.  It took me months to get over the guilt of buying a brand new 46-inch Samsung flat screen when I had a good tube that worked fine.  When my microwave oven broke (again) my sister was very surprised when I marched to Walmart and bought another one.  She said, “why don’t you people pay to get it repaired?”  I said that it cost almost as much to repair it as a new one.  When I told her my plans of getting myself a new car possibly for Christmas, she asked my why I would want a  new car when old faithful is still chugging along just fine.  That was when I knew.  I had attained the replacement mindset.

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12 Responses to “American Mindset.”

  1. Neefemi October 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    I def understand what you mean but for example with the microwave, where exactly could you fix it? and with the car you have had it for so long, you deserve a new one i think.
    But yea i get what u mean.

    Have a good weekend

    • lucidlilith October 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      i honestly thought about googling for a repair person…but i figured it was faster and cheaper to get a new one.

  2. joicee October 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I hate wasting and spending unneceesarily but it is really hard to conserve stuff when there is a finer and better option out there that you can afford without qualms.

    • lucidlilith October 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      …and then there is keeping up with those people who get “new every two”

  3. Ibhade October 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    HA!…….just got to show the environment one lives affects one’s thinking & perspective, am happy for you……yeah! i do remember hand-me downs & 9jas are very innovative …..afterall, necessity is the mother of invention abi?… na abokis don take over the obioma trade now o……..you’ve heard of the yaradua’s tourch light abi?.. tiny bulbs are attached to .unused cd disc which is attached to a wood that has a switch & would take 3 batteries only …shines so bright & cost N100 without the batteries o. Safer & cheaper than candles & kerosene lamps…..Don’t let the ADEMOLA’S & ADETOKUBO’S catch you o!…shiooo, na our beautiful names you interpret like that….lol

    • lucidlilith October 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

      My dear…it was my sister that told me that tokunbos had evolved.

  4. Myne Whitman October 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Welcome to the American dream, the land of milk and honey. It’s unfortunate that for a lot of people, the dark underside is a bitch. Enjoy if you can afford it jare..

    • lucidlilith October 11, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

      Land of milk and honey…if you have the cash. You got that right!

  5. Ginger October 10, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Congratulations on your attainment. Out with the old!!!

  6. Ginger October 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    I do mean the congratulations. Cos I find it sooo hard to let go of things. ‘The only time anything new was purchased was when the old no longer existed, or was kaput, or i have been teased mercilessly by friends or I begin to fear the ekuke (mongrels) on the street cos of my footwear. then will I replace 😀

    • lucidlilith October 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

      Me too! I get attached to my things but I am beginning to understand that pampering yourself once in a while is good for the soul. Especially if you work your ass off for the money you spend.

  7. adiyaatu October 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    Will it make you feel any better to know that lots of people in Nigeria have the ‘replacement mindset’. Simply put, if you can afford it, then by all means 😀

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