We are a consumptive society and we thrive on the idea of having stuff. Things. Personal belongings. Possessions. This has long been a large part of what makes us what we are. Religions teach us to be cautious about it. People have told numerous stories and made many movies about it. George Carlin even cracked jokes about it.
For some it’s a status thing, others an attachment thing. Actually, regardless of one’s reasoning for owning things, it’s all inevitably an attachment thing if you strip one’s reasoning to its fundamental, bare-backed concept.
Regardless, a lot of people’s lives are overcomplicated by having too much stuff.
We want for things. Stuff, ideas, other people, certain feelings.
I feel like my stuff is running me out of house and home. I have a dresser full of art supplies, desks covered in post-it notes scrawled full of ideas, drawers, tables, a tv. Underneath my bed you can see nothing but stacks of portfolio envelopes full of artwork from both college and high school. Oh, and shoes. Because owning more than 8 pairs of shoes is one of the many keys to leading a happy and fulfilling life, right? Musical instruments that collect dust, jewelry making equipment that produces a lot of dust, books, pictures…
I like to sit down with my thoughts often. Conjure ideas and silly theorems. I can also overanalyze certain life situations, pine for things that are not plausible at times. I worry about people who don’t want help, I sometimes worry about my own trying circumstances. I try to hold on to transient moments for too long sometimes.
It clutters the mind to be perpetually surrounded by stuff…
“The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof.”
One of The Four Noble Truths.
All things, good and bad, come to an end, and when good things that we have attached ourselves to cease to be, suffering commences. Most things will inevitably end or disappear, causing us misery in the long run. We have to let go of this junk. Eliminate the stuff. Eliminate the need to suffer.
I’d like to think that I’m a relatively simple person. I know that’s probably not true, but I’m working on it. I don’t really want for too much physical, tangible crap. I don’t find myself wasting money on superfluous shit like tattoos, clothes, alcohol, overpriced cups of coffee… Yeah, my art supplies are slowly overtaking my living space, but I suppose it could be worse. But the intangibles. The intangibles get me sometimes.
Last night, rather than working late into the night on my jewelry designs until my hands were too tired to function I sat around. I worked until maybe 8 and called it quits to read for a bit and wait around for stuff. Did my 11o'clock yoga bit, and went to bed before midnight.I found myself doing something that I never do. I was waiting rather than acting, rather than creating.
Why do we want for things?
For a sense of belonging.
For a sense of fulfillment.
Sometimes things give us a sense of purpose.
Why are people unable to feel fulfilled without pretty clothes, fancy cars, money, mounds of comic books, boyfriends, expensive televisions with surround sound, exclusive titles (president, C.E.O., blah blah…), blah blah? Is it so much to ask that we cast some of these things aside and try to find happiness inside of ourselves? It’s there. Somewhere. We all have talents and strengths. So why do we spend so much time focusing on shit we don’t have to make ourselves better? Improve upon the things already instilled within you. Show me what ya workin’ with. You can paint. You can write. You can make things with your hands. You have a natural inclination to help people. You’re exceptionally intelligent. You have a knack for algorithmic equations. You understand biological processes. You understand how to compose music.
Stop worrying about how so-and-so still hasn’t called back, or how you can’t wait to get your hands on the iPhone 17, or the fact that your car isn’t nearly as lavish as so-and-so’s car.
Paint. Write books. Sculpt. Cook. Volunteer. Become a teacher. Improve technology. Become a doctor. Compose symphonies. Utilize your talents to spread joy inside of yourself, through your fingertips and pores and inevitably into other people around you.
Stop wasting time, effort, energy on shit you don’t necessarily need in order to function.