STUFF BECOMES CRAP.
Now, I've got my share of "stuff", that's to be sure, after all, as human beings we are all virtual waste producing machines and I'm not just talking about the stuff that exits our orifices. There's also the "crap" that we buy into which propels us to buy crap, tire of it, tuck it away or throw it out so that we can buy more crap and on and on.
WHY ARE WE SO DRIVEN TO GET STUFF? CUS, IT FEELS SO GOOD... FOR A WHILE AT LEAST.
I find it amazing how a prized item that has given me such pleasure in: hunting it down; purchasing it (there's the real pay off — that big rush of satisfaction and accomplishment that is anticipated from the moment the flame of desire is a mere spark of inspiration); the using, wearing or eating of it, eventually becomes "stuff" to be stored or "crap" to be gotten rid of. More often than not, the very moment we attain our object of desire, is the beginning of its decline in favour.
MARKETING, ADVERTISING AND THE POWER OF SUBTLE (OR NOT SO SUBTLE) SUGGESTIONS THAT WE'RE BOMBARDED WITH 24/7 - FUELS OUR DESIRE FOR STUFF. SEE LEONARD'S "YOU SUCK" CYCLE OF CONSUMER DESIRE.
These three examples stand out for me:
The notion that you can "save money" by spending money sends the message that saving money is good; the reality is that this isn't the way to do it. Reality check — once it's spent it's gone, I don't care how good a deal you got, besides what are you going to do with the money you "saved" but, buy more "stuff".
After declining to sign up for a department store's BONUS POINTS CARD (explaining that I'm a hit and run, not a browsing, type of shopper) the cherry toddle-oo the cashier gave me was, "Have a great day shopping". Have a great DAY shopping? Is she nuts? Was she listening at all? You want me to have a great day? I just got my "stuff" now get me outta here. Time spent browsing is too much time spent in "you suck" territory; too much time spent in temptation's lair. Hey, I'm not immune.
And, one of my faves is this motto "Be seen. Be seen shopping," the Oakville equivalent of counting coup found emblazoned on promotional banners throughout the town a few Christmases ago.
If I sound a little judgmental, a little self-satisfied it's because, except for a few exceptions (knitting, sporting supply stores, One of a Kind Craft Show, a really great grocery store), I really don't like to shop. For the most part, shopping makes me anxious. Some people are "stuff" people and some are "experience" people. I'm the latter. Let me: travel and explore the outdoors and new places, indulge in the fare of a great restaurant, sit in a cafe (preferably in Paris) and watch the world go by, take time to write, read and play and I'm happy. But Leonard's video reminds me that everything I do taxes the earth and our resources. My purchases, well thought out as they may be; the requirements of the activities I enjoy, all take their toll.
I'm not sure what to do with all this. I just know that awareness is the spark to inspiration and maybe if enough people become inspired, creative ways in being in the world (while minimizing the damage we cause, or even giving back to it) may be discovered and what a wonderful world that would be!