David Cain on materialism. If you feel like you have too much shit and most of it really isn’t very good shit, take a few minute to understand why. A few excerpts:
When a friend of mine inspected the damage from a fender-bender, what upset him most was the discovery that his bumper was nothing but a brittle plastic husk supported by three pieces of styrofoam. The vehicle was new and probably cost about $35,000.
If we were things-lovers we’d have better things, and few things we don’t use. […] Something happened at some point that left us preferring more things over better things, and acquiring over using or owning.
Marketers began to sell products in a way that suggests you are buying something deeper and more abstract than a material thing: a sense of freedom, belonging, security, virility, popularity—any of the non-material qualities we perpetually seek and never have enough of. They sell us what we want to be, not what we want to have.
Our desire for self-actualization is bottomless, and so when we try to buy it, we buy endlessly.
The hallmark of stress and unease is rumination—unconscious, uncontrolled thinking about things you aren’t really doing and conversations you aren’t really having.