My, my we are a culture of accumulation. Everywhere we look there are vendors vying for our attention, advising us to add to our “stuff.” And, it seems we are answering this call to consume with flying colors! Somehow we think that owning more “stuff” will make us feel better and straighten out the curves in our lives and hearts.
I have recently noticed a building boom! Yup, there is one part of the “housing” market that is flourishing -high-end, air-conditioned and climate-controlled storage facilities. In our hoarding and holding lifestyles, we now need “off-site” square-footage to store the stuff we can no longer fit into our allotted living spaces.
There are advertising agencies with “make-it-all-okay” media messages who have tapped into our bursting-out-of-the-basement purchasing proclivity. I recently saw an ad telling us that it was okay to “hoard” stuff as long as you used their “handy-dandy” storage facility to keep it nice and neat, cozy and contained. You certainly don’t want to have a crowded garage or a packed-to-the-panels living room!
Are we a culture gone “Gollum?” You know, he was the creepy character in “The Lord of the Rings” who was forever stroking and drooling over his “Precious” ring. It was the ownership and then the loss of it that gave his life meaning. In the end, this poor sniveling character loses his mind and becomes a lump of slavering desire. Looks like ownership or the yearning for ownership of stuff (gotta give those ad guys credit!) drives a huge part of who we are.
Okay, so we now own more stuff than we can reasonably stuff into our houses, apartments and other designs for living. And, as we do not want to part with this stuff, we stuff it into storage places. What good does it do us there? It is sitting stationary and sterile (hopefully, you did do a nice packing job) waiting to be used sometime somewhere in someone’s life. And, we pay for the privilege of this off-location ownership of things we cannot part with. A basic question bubbles to the fore here, “Why?”
Why do we want to accumulate stuff simply for the sake of accruing more of life’s accoutrements? Because that is all stuff really is. These gadgets and bits and pieces, clothing and couture are supposed to aid and add to our life’s actions and events; not replace the actions and events themselves. We seem to have things backwards here. We don’t go shopping for stuff to help us DO something; we go shopping simply for shopping’s sake. “Let’s go shopping,” has become an activity in and of itself, not a means to an end.
So we shop until we drop as we pursue a “this will make me happy” mentality. And we end up with all this “stuff” we need to care for and catalogue (or not, if you are a slob) and put someplace. It is a “no-brainer” that we will eventually run out of places in our houses, garages and sheds to plop our purchases. So, we now have “storage units” where our excess stuff resides.
Hey, this actually gives us another leisure time activity that no one has tapped into yet! Why not make a date to go play with your stuff this weekend?