Thursday, August 30, 2007

Winning The Wellness War


--op-ed--

The LOHAS community faces a major conundrum. On the one hand we proclaim to hate hype, mass culture, and falling victim to marketing schemes. On the other, all the things we truly stand for ( ideas that are meant to heal our planet, our families and our selves) are not ideas that are commonplace in mainstream America. We can’t only want to save ourselves, we want to inspire others to “see the light” and “take a stand” in their lives. But how do you get the message out if you ridicule marketers and mass media. Do we not in fact have to be savvier than our corruptive opposition ? Those folks spend billions in order to make pesticides, brain numbing pop culture, and chemically altered food seem not only O.K, but also worthwhile, necessary, tasty and fun.

Let’s get real. There is a war here, as peace loving as we might be, its David and Goliath again, and our supposed $210 billion dollar market is nothing compared to the global market economy that operates on industries maintaining their status quo, often dependant on despicable practices. To make matters worst, we have the “new age” stigma stuck to us from the 80’s, like bad stink. Wellness living and spirituality (in the eyes of many in the mainstream) is somehow linked to obscurity and the fringe, as if living a life in balance is an oddity. I say our market is far bigger than researchers are citing. There is a global hunger for better standard of life, actually there always has been – I know this because I know that no body really truly wants to die.

In simplest terms, being healthy (mind, body and spirit) helps you live longer, and who doesn’t want that ? I believe that the potential market for being LOHAS is sort of everyone. But in order to transform a global thinking we have to stop playing nice and start getting serious. We have to market, and embrace it. We have to find ways to get our message into the mainstream media – and then watch it to prove to networks that there is a demand. We need to show up in theaters for every environmental, holistic, consciously minded picture we hear about, so filmmakers turn out in droves to make them. The bottom line is, if we all care so much about our planet and the consciousness with which we all co-exist, we need to stop preaching to the converted and start evangelizing to those that actually need saving. We have to shed our passivity and start getting hard-core – otherwise our words and supposed philosophies are as empty as those of certain people, industries, and practices we question.

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