We're in love with stuff -- with shopping, with acquiring, with owning, with collecting.
Let's lust after life instead.
Our obsession with stuff has become unhealthy. When we have a void in our lives, we buy things. When we have problems, we buy things. And these things are becoming more and more expensive, bigger, shinier ... more wasteful.
This obsession with stuff leads to owning a lot, having a lot of clutter ... and yet this stuff doesn't fill our lives with meaning.
It leads to deep debt, from buying so much, and needing bigger houses and storage spaces to contain everything. Financially, we're worse off than ever, because of this obsession with stuff.
We buy things when we're depressed, we buy things for others to show how much we love them ... and in this way, stuff has separated us from actually dealing with our emotions, blocked us from truly connecting with others.
Let's replace that lust for stuff with a lust for life.
A seminary professor of mine often said that "since the deck of life is always shifting, balance is nothing more than momentary synchronicity." With that in mind, I submit the following, wherein I run headlong away from the swells and toward the high-side of the deck in this storm of life.
Okay...I'm just about OVER this hackneyed commentary. Let's look at a couple points in Mr. Babuta's excerpt:
*"obsession with stuff": please define this lame expression, as I DOUBT that our consideration or contemplation of material goods is quantifiably any more or stronger than in centuries past. This is a thread of the anti-physical that infests the church and the general counter-cultural world. Goods are good; get over it. Wealth is good. Of course, it can become an idol. Let me know of something that can't, and I'll give you MY wealth.
*"more wasteful": yes...as we become wealthier, we buy more expensive goods. However, do please look at what Victorian (or, as reductio-ad-absurdum, cavemen) considered 'luxury,' and then take the unavoidable step to acknowledging that the good things that we, as predominantly middle-class individuals, have are vastly better than the good things that were even available to our great-grandparents....or even parents, let alone whether they could afford it. Before you go whining about this point, please do me the favor of considering this
*"this stuff doesn't fill our lives with meaning": yes, well, neither does a house over our head, but it's noticeably better than not having one. Move along.
*"Financially, we're worse off than ever": OH, GOOD LORD, IS THIS HYPERBOLE AND DAMNED TOMFOOLERY. We (and, you may choose to define 'we' as almost anything you want) are ***amazingly*** wealthier than any group of socially or in-any-other-way comparable people in the history of the universe (so far as we know...I'm not averse to other-planet life, but that's not relevant here).
*"we buy things for others to show how much we love them": Mr. Babuta, please let me know when, in the history of...well...whenever, have individuals been able to convey love without cost. Whether that cost be monetary or in-any-other-way measurable, the cost must be paid, or the gesture is utterly worthless. Your complaint is tired and baseless, sir, and I ask that you discontinue this lame attempt at social commentary. An individual gets what we refer to as 'money,' typically, by the work of his hands/mind. This is no different than any other point in history, only now we have exceedingly easily quantifiable methods of evaluating the 'value' of that work. That is, contrary to your insinuation, a wonderfully GOOD thing, and allows us to avoid the wasteful and inefficient barter economy.
*"Let's replace that lust for stuff with a lust for life." I'm not even sure how to react to this batch of trite...or, wait, do I mean 'Tripe'?
The only valid point here is that a desire for some certain thing may outweigh the desire for a better thing. This, contrary to Mr. Babuta's apparent point, is no more true today than it was to Salomon.
I DO encourage everyone to read the remainder of Mr. Babuta's post, but not to glean great truths of life, but rather to notice that tiredness (of ideas) can still sell well to the populace--note the fawning commentary.
Move along, folks, nothing to see here.