Slave to Stuff

During any given day I have voices popping in and out of my head. When I was folding the clothes this morning I was looking at the towels and thinking to myself:  “I really need to get some new towels”. Is that a true statement?  Or do I just want new towels?

The reason I was looking at my towels in such a disdainful manner is that my towels do not match. A couple of years ago my towels were getting extremely threadbare and I was about to go purchase some new ones when my neighbor told me she had 2 garbage bags full of towels that a friend had given her. She was going to either sell them in a garage sale or donate them to the goodwill and wanted to know if I needed them. I said yes. Some were yellow. Some were white.  Some were brown with flowers. Some were burgundy with flowers.  All of them were in very good shape; they were practically brand-new. 

Now, why do I feel the need to have all of my towels matching? Because when I visit other people’s homes I see their perfectly matching towels in their cupboards.

What I am feeling is the pressure of conformity, the pressure of advertising, and the pressure of other people's judgments. What is someone going to think if they’re having a shower in my home and they open the cupboard and Lord Almighty they see towels in different colors and sizes? How shocking!!  Must I care about something so insignificant? The towels I have are still in very good shape and they get the job done. Folks, this is just one example of how my mind works.

In fact, in the past few days here all the things that I have thought that I either needed or wanted: a new pair of jeans, new workout pants, a concealer pen, foundation, and a fall/Halloween wreath for the front door. I can assure you reader, I do not need any of these things. Materialism will wreck your mind, wreck your bank account, wreck your life, and give you a false sense of fulfillment. Stuff is not where it’s at. Period.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there is anything problematic with having matching towels. In fact, it can be very aesthetically pleasing. And there is nothing wrong with buying something for yourself or for your family. This is simply a statement on how our desire for more and more stuff can be very unhealthy.

I just read the book “American Dirt” and it talks about how migrants make their way from Honduras into the United States on the back of The Beast: a freight train. It kills and maims hundreds every year. The only thing they carry with them is whatever they can fit into a backpack because you can't pull yourself onto a moving freight train if you are carrying anything in your hands. They manage to get by with the bare necessities for the 15-30 days it takes to make the journey from South America to the US border and across the US border. Could I manage to make such a trek? I think not. I can barely manage to make it through towels folding session without grumbling over the fact that my towels do not match. I really need to get my desires in check. It's so easy to be a slave to stuff. I need to "need" less and want less. Life is about so much more than stuff. 

And my favorite quote is: "All stuff is future garbage."--Bridgette Ralph