Our ideas about stuff are weird. We spout platitudes about how objects shouldn’t matter, while remaining locked into a pattern of feverish consumption. It’s akin to the way we treat food: we don’t savor it like the French, instead, we devour mass quantities.
We make bad decisions when it comes to both food and stuff. It seems we’re so concentrated on the “having” part that we fail to actually enjoy much. It’s shameful to admit, but we’re starved of happiness and experience due to our excess.
The time has come for us to reconsider our collective relationship with objects. What things do we really want, need, or enjoy? How many items do we wish to move, store, and maintain? Might we be willing to invest more in things that last longer, provide greater value, or are more pleasurable to use?
There’s little wrong with finding satisfaction in objects. In fact, loving things might be a path out of the madness our consumption has spawned. By carrying a lighter load, we find ourselves less burdened, and with more time for experiences. We also lessen our demands on a planet pushed past its carrying capacity.
To live deliberately, we must eschew the home overflowing with crap, in favor of a small number of selectively chosen objects. (I don’t know about you, but I’ll actually wear out a pair of good jeans, while the many pairs I bought “on sale” remain untouched, in a cluttered closet.)
This shift will require us to reprogram ourselves, starting with our values and habits. We need to beat down our hoarding tendencies, and curtail knee-jerk reactions to special offers and bulk purchasing. These will be replaced by the shared act of acquiring only things that improve our lives. In doing so, we will reacquaint ourselves with notions of quality and craftsmanship, and re-learn how to treat our stuff with care.
Buy less, experience more, and know the joy of good things.