Hello friends, welcome to the Stoic Coffee Break. Today's episode...Stuff
“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We've been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.”
One of my favorite George Carlin routines is where he talks about stuff and he talks about how we work at our jobs so that we can buy lots of stuff, and then we have to buy a big house so that we can store all of our stuff ,and if we buy more stuff and it doesn't fit into our house that we end up buying a bigger house or renting a storage unit for more of our stuff, and it's just kind of the cycle of stuff. If you haven't seen it you can find it on YouTube but for me it was just such a poignant kind of sketch about consumerism United States and basically we just have so much stuff.
Now I’m not suggesting that we all have to become minimalist there's nothing wrong with appreciating the things that you have and enjoying the things that you have. But we need to be careful about being too attached to the things that we have and placing our value on there's things.
I mean what would happen if you so they lost all of the things that you had in your life maybe to a fire maybe to a flood would you feel like your world had ended because you didn't have these things or would you simply look at it and go there goes a bunch of stuff?
When I moved to Austria, it was a bit a of a culture shock for me. Not just in the language and the food aspect but in the way of life aspect so there's a lot of things that they did that were very kind of alien to me in many different ways. I grew up in the suburbs and was used to living in a fairly good-sized house and I had had my own car as a teenager. And most people I met lived in smaller apartments and condos and didn't have a cars. I would say that I knew more people who didn't have cars than people who did and they would basically live in apartments their whole lives and they would use public transportation or walk or ride our bikes to get to where they needed to and that was really kind of strange for me at first. I didn't think that I could live a life like that where I lived in an apartment and didn't drive a car but I spent two years over there where I lived in smaller apartments and I didn't have a car the whole time. And after a while it became very normal for me and it was something that I grew to appreciate because they put their focus on so many other things like cooking really good food having their neighbors over a lot and being close with their community. It was a very different lifestyle and it was very rewarding in so many ways and what it first had felt so foreign seemed so normal by the time that I left and I really appreciated not having to worry about taking so much stuff with me.
Remember it's not that stuff is bad it's just the more stuff we own the more I stuff owns us.
That's the Stoic Coffee Break for today. Have a great day!