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Desire for a Flood

Posted by on 22 August 2010

We are not ascetics. We love good food and wine (well, Sue's pancreas has decided she can't have alcohol any more, but she loves the smell) and we prefer nice furniture to garage sale stuff. We like a comfortable life and nice things.

Clearly, though, folks who are doing their best to divest themselves of stuff aren't focused on said stuff too much.

Our goal is a simple lifestyle. This doesn't mean living on crummy food or in dingy basements. (Consider that some of our best alcoholic beverages originated in monasteries.) It's about choosing which stuff needs to be nice, and which stuff doesn't matter.

I read this sentence this morning:

"This world's advertising elements try to build in us a desire for a flood of consumer goods that we do not need. (Italics mine.)

Need. That can be a tough word to define, and we're in the process of redefining it for ourselves.

Most of us can agree that the average family does not need six cars, or a house with more bathrooms than people.

But how many computers does our family 'need' ? Does Fiona need a computer? Do I need all my musical instruments?

Drawing the line between 'need' and 'want' is a difficult and, in the end, subjective and personal challenge. Resisting the media's crushing push to make me want more more more, though, is an imperative.

4 Responses to Desire for a Flood

  1. Kamil Ali

    Joel,

    Same thing I and Frances were discussing some months back. Why it's too important to buy things via credit card? Can't we control our wishes? Yes we can! But that little Satan's plastic card in our wallet doesn't let us:)

    Guess what? I don't keep credit card:)

  2. caitlyn

    The one note I can add to this?

    It is reasonable to have more shoes than feet.

  3. Joel D Canfield

    Ah, Caitlyn, despite how it may look, I love clothes. I tend to pack far more than I need for most trips.

    And I brought four pairs of shoes for our short trip, not to mention 15 mismatched socks (Little Miss Matched, in fact) which I wear around the house.

  4. Joel D Canfield

    Kamil, we've developed the habit of using our credit cards as a way to track expenses, to avoid carrying too much cash, but definitely not to buy things we can't afford.

    Of course, those for whom the temptation is too much shouldn't carry the card, right?

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