The accumulation of material things sucks! I know that many if not most won’t agree with that opinion, but there it is. Maybe that’s why the monastic life has always appealed to me. Having nothing carries a sort of peace that most people don’t seem to recognize. There’s a sort of prevailing societal beliefs that life has to involve the accumulation of personal wealth and the accumulation of crap within one’s environment. This is a perspective that developed over a longer period than I care to think about.
The reality is that people have forgotten that money is not the goal in life. We get jobs and earn money so that we can get by in life, obtain lodging, clothe and feed ourselves and maintain the basic amenities we need to stay alive. If you’re working with the goal of becoming rich, you should be looking inward and asking what that wealth is expected to provide. People often say that money can’t buy happiness and I’ve often said that I’d prefer to find out for myself. But the monument I make the earning and accumulation of money my goal in life, I’m confident in the thought that the aforementioned happiness won’t come.
That being said, money isn’t the only issue but what people do with it. Having the biggest house or the newest car, owning a cabin at the lake or having a huge flat screen television… People associate property with success instead of considering success to be a sign of success. In its own little way, it’s kind of sad. As long as I have my clothes. My books and some ability to write and workout, I’m happier than a proverbial swine in its own expelled fecal matter.
There’s also a significant weight that one carries when possessing all of these things. When you consider aspects such as how much harder it is to gather and move all of those belongings if you change residence, or the significantly increased loss one suffers if those belongings go up in flames or get stolen, owning less stuff or being something of a minimalist doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Plus, one must consider that any added monies you may gain by not purchasing all the crap can be used to have experiences, instead.
Lastly, I’ve observed that people will try to conform with this societal expectation of ownership and wealth by living beyond their means. This means using credit or leaning on future monies they don’t have in order to get that bigger house or buy the big camper trailer. Although credit and the ability to use it is an important part of Canada’s economy, the accumulation of debt can happen quickly and without warning, with most people unfortunately unaware that those monthly payments they’re positive they can make can trip up one’s finances faster than one thinks. This can lead to a poorer quality of life and loss of home and livelihood. Certainly not worth owning that motorcycle, even if you’ve dreamed of it for years.
The lesson here is to live within your means. If you want your means to increase, that can be something to work on. But living beyond one’s means will not only prevent the betterment and advancement of one’s life but will also hinder it in ways that can be difficult to get out from. Having less stuff won’t make you unhappy. If nothing else, it will offer up a freedom that you may not have allowed yourself to consider. Food for thought… ☯️
3 thoughts on “You Don’t NEED That…”
Materialism is driven by fear and ego. Advertisers go out of their way to promote the idea that the outward trappings of wealth equals power, status and respect. You won’t get that job or mate, people will look down on you… if you don’t have our product. It’s insidious, even if you don’t get into NLP and other “hypnotic” selling tricks, and data mining used to prey on weaknesses.
As far as credit goes… It’s really an illusion. There’s a radio personality named Dave Ramsey who has gotten numerous people out of debt and building wealth. One of his tag lines is that a credit rating is nothing more than a metric for how deep you can go into debt. He advocates delayed gratification and paying cash. Trouble is, delayed gratification is almost as evil a phrase as child molester in today’s society.
FWIW, I have mixed feelings on Dave Ramsey. I’ll save that for a post in my own blog. His basic books are worth a read though. NEVER trust his Endorsed Local Providers though.
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Dave Ramsey, I’ll have to look him up. I very much subscribe to the concept that if you don’t have the money for it, you shouldn’t be buying it. I’ve fallen into debt before and there is no more effective way of losing sleep than debt.
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Absolutely. Just avoid his “Endorsed Local Provider” referral program like the plague.