We live in a world where corporations are driven by profits.

And this is a good thing.

This may be hard to believe, but profit- driven corporations give consumers power. In fact, you could almost say that a free-market economy that is primarily driven by large corporations is fairly similar to a democracy in the concept that the consumers vote. Every time you pick up a Coke instead of a Pepsi, every time you decide that organic eggs are going to be healthier than regular eggs, even every time you call an electrician to change a light bulb, you are voting.

Without the profits from customers, corporations are nothing.

“But Stephen, I’m just one person! No corporation cares about just one person!”

I’ll admit it, every now and then a corporation screws over a customer, but I guarantee that there is no Dr. Evil sitting in a boardroom twiddling his fingers with glee when it happens. Those executives sitting in their boardrooms are actually trying to figure out how to make their customers happy so that they develop a loyal customer who will return time and time again.

You can express this power by not buying into a corporation’s product or ideology.

“But Stephen, the flocks of sheep in society still buy into because they don’t know any better!”

Guess why? Because they like it.

Classic case: Valentine’s Day. We’re celebrating some saint that got killed or something, and we’re doing so by buying flowers, chocolate and maybe even jewelry. Some of the time we’re doing it because we love another person and want to make sure they know, most of the time we’re doing it so we can get laid. Either way, we do it because it makes us happy.

Sure, we should be giving tokens of appreciation to our loved ones every day, but I know for a fact that I can’t afford that.

Don’t like the idea of Valentine’s Day? Don’t buy your loved one a gift, and know that you won’t be getting a gift from me. And you’ll feel like a self-centered jerk. Why? Because people enjoy Valentine’s Day.

Another example: Christmas. We’re celebrating the birth of Christ by sitting around a glorified piece of lumber exchanging gifts.

Don’t like how corporate Christmas has become? Don’t buy anyone gifts. You’ll feel like, yeah you guessed it, a self-centered jerk. Why? Because people enjoy Christmas.

Don’t get mad because corporations have figured out a successful business strategy. In fact, be happy that you live in a world where they want to make you happy—the alternative is not very attractive.