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So. Previously on this theme, we learnt that we each get hit by (depending on which study you read) somewhere between 250 and 3000 adverts a day. Let’s do a quick bit of maths to figure something out.

Let’s cut that estimate down the middle to be fair, and assume we see 1500 adverts. Then, let’s assume that we subconsciously dismiss 500 of them, they are just ‘in app ads’ which we don’t look at, side-bar things on google or buses that drove past too quick for us to really read the poster on the side.

Then let’s remove another 500 for being immediately not applicable. For me that would mean discounting all the adverts for women’s health products (i am not a woman), fabric softener (i don’t know what it does) PPI over-payment schemes (nope, not got any so can’t have been mis-sold it) and upcoming programmes with Ant & Dec (i am not a woman).

That leaves me with 500 adverts. Five hundred moments of print, jingle, movie, audio which try and sell me something, all of them by subtly, or not so subtly pointing out that I am not a complete human because I do not yet have that product. Essentially, I am told 500 times a day that I need something more, that I don’t have enough yet, that I should not yet be satisfied.

Which is crazy, cos I have a great house, a car, a cupboard with food in it, a couple of coats, more pairs of shoes than I can possibly wear at any one time, DVD’s gathering dust, a computer, a spare watch…you get the point. I have enough! I don’t need anything else. In fact, I have more than well over half of the people on the planet. I spent more on my cup of coffee than 1.2 BILLION people spent on their entire food budget today.

And yet I don’t always / often feel complete. I often look at those 500 adverts and feel a strong sense that yes, I should buy that product in order to be more popular / attractive / successful / wealthy / pleasant smelling.

How might I fight back at these 500 voices each day? Well, with 500 of my own. Five hundred little whispers that tell a different story and declare a deeper truth. There is a line, thrown away by one of the Bible writers which simply says “give thanks in all circumstances”. Using your phone? You could either get frustrated that it isn’t the very latest model, or give thanks for this incredible piece of kit that fits in your pocket. Filling up your car with petrol? You could either groan about the price of petrol and how much you resent pouring it into this clapped out old banger, or you could give thanks that you have the money to pay for the petrol and the car is at least working. Admiring your neighbours massive widescreen TV? Well give thanks that you have one too and that they have not yet called the police to report you for looking through their window.

I wonder how my mind might be transformed if I was thankful just as many times during the day as I was told that I needed more stuff?…