I’m not even sure what to call it, but have you noticed how convenience is overtaking just about everything?
My wake-up call came in the form of the pop, click and drink of the single-serve coffee maker—the supposed upgrade in convenience and superior taste of the coffee-cartridge craze.
It made me wonder. In our relentless drive for ever greater efficiency, are we making choices that eliminate the very experiences that make life rich and worthwhile?
This trend may have started out in fast food—first there were TV dinners, and then the value meal exploded into an all-in-one, one-stop-shopping mentality.
Grocery shopping is now conveniently available everywhere from gas stations to pharmacies.
Likewise, I’m not pleased with buying conveniently bundled cable service, where you never get the package that has exactly what you want unless you buy a bunch of stuff you don’t. Convenient for whom?
The trend extends to beauty and skin care, where we bundle function and desired results into one product. Shampoo, conditioner, body cleanser, moisturizer, all in one convenient package, as if this results in a better quality product or experience.
And “the world’s favorite coffee maker”? It’s “a lie,” according to Fast Company.
All of this disguises the impact of bundle-thinking on our lives and on our planet. It just goes to prove my point that convenience is overrated when you assess real costs by factoring in the price of what you’re giving up.
If time is so precious, doesn’t it deserve to be savored?
The problem with the bundle mindset is it assumes convenience and cost are appropriate criteria for what it’s replacing. They end up taking away something that is more valuable to us than the thing being offered.
In our race to get out the door, we jettison the value of spending a precious few minutes pampering ourselves, which connects us with an anthropologic history that enriches our mental and physical health and overall well-being.
Just as in nature’s interconnected ecosystem, all the little parts of life exist for a reason. Take out one seemingly small, insignificant part, and it diminishes the health of the whole.
When we take the time to pause, consider and experience the moment, a bigger picture of what’s really worth saving becomes clear.
We are subject to our bodies and the earth—they have authority over us as much as our behaviors have implications for them.
Some things are worth the time and money once you consider how the real price of getting something for cheap is an increasing disconnect from our bodies and our environment. The fact remains that we are sensory beings.
We need nature, and we need the essential experiences it provides. The rituals and processes that evolved through thousands of years of practice actually mean something and resonate at deeper levels of our being.
There’s something to these rites that needs to be preserved—the rich ways they enable us to have extraordinary, meaningful experiences in everyday moments.
We can’t live a value-driven life on the back of convenience and discounts.
There’s a sensory benefit to the process of making coffee. And time spent preparing our bodies for our day has bigger implications than getting out the door.