Why is it so hard to break the habit of wanting and coveting things? It starts young – we see the cool toys that other kids have, and want them for ourselves. Our family members get us amazing gifts at birthdays and holidays (which is part of the cycle!). We’re shopping with mom and see all the gum and candy in the checkout aisle and inevitably ask for something. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. Commercials inundate us from the radio and TV telling us what we need. That’s where it all begins… and it is perpetuated throughout our lives, it permeates us. And we continue this bizarre tradition by giving our friends cool presents, giving our family and children cool presents… thus making them want more cool stuff that will make them happy(?)
Consumerism is consuming us.
We are programmed to buy everything, to want everything, to need everything. Not only do we have a variety of choices for each necessity or element of survival (like soap!) but there are millions more useless space and time wasters that we all are guilty of wanting and needing that are not essential to our survival. Sure, soap isn’t NECESSARY for survival, but we’d smell bad… and who wants that? You know what I mean 🙂
Does wanting that super-fantastic thing give us something to look forward to? Does it give us a goal? We certainly save up for these things (or put them on Credit – which I am guilty of!). But these things don’t make us happy. We simply put them on the shelf, or in the yard, or in our car… and then find something else that we want, or we “need” and forget all about the other 729 things we have mindlessly purchased that have not yet made us happy.
So why do we buy things? So many things? Why do we need that big screen TV? To keep up with the Joneses? To see every droplet of sweat on the character from the newest action movie? These ‘things’ entertain us… for a short period of time. Until they become clutter in our lives. But then we find it hard to get rid of them. The cute little ballerina figurine that so-and-so gave you is on the mantle, along with another eleven figurines you have gotten for miscellaneous birthdays or holidays… but you can’t get rid of it, because it reminds you of so-and-so, or so-and-so would be hurt to know that you threw it away.
Not only that, but we save up (or buy on credit) and then we are back to square one. Saving (or repaying credit) for more things! On top of this, if we lose or break said item – we have the stress of having it fixed or replacing it, which costs us more money… Or maybe the thing we have broken or lost was something sentimental, and now you feel guilty! See what “STUFF” does for you? It makes you want more stuff, it makes you broke, it makes you guilty, and it makes your life, and your home CLUTTERED!
So I’m doing my best to embark on a journey filled with a lack of “need” or “want” for “STUFF.” I know it will be ridiculously difficult to un-program myself, and that I will assure myself that this thing that I am wanting is clearly a necessity and end up faltering… but I’ve realized that stuff is pretty useless if it doesn’t make you genuinely happy. Stuff is just stuff! I’m going to try and save my money for experiences. Because experiences, especially travel, make me happy. Much more happy than STUFF. Needless to say I have a ways to go 😉
I can break my habit of attachment over things. I don’t need them to make me happy.