Please help me with my struggle between materialism and minimalism.
March 6, 2007 8:58 AM Subscribe
This is not about me mistakingly thinking material possessions = happiness. (I don't.)
And it's not about me running up credit card debt because of impulse shopping. (I haven't.)
This is about my competing urges: materialism and minimalism.
posted by anonymous to Religion & Philosophy (44 answers total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Mostly I try to pair down my belongings and live on less. But I never feel like I've paired down enough. I feel greedy for even having the stuff I have. But there's another part of me that does want that 46" Sony flat screen tv. That Pottery Barn sofa. That trendy $30 t-shirt that should really cost $3. These competing urges have rendered me unable to enjoy any purchase I make or don't make.
Recently, my computer broke and I had to buy a new one. I ended up getting a 20" Apple Imac. There's a part of me that feels guilty: Did I really need the 20"? No. Couldn't I have been happy with the 17"? I suppose. After traveling overseas and seeing people living in abject poverty, I feel guilty. I feel horrible, actually-- for the poor, for the starving, even for the workers in the Chinese factories earning pennies an hour to make me a stupid Imac. But how much can I do to help them? Don't I need some things to enjoy life a little?
But there's another part that secretly craves the bigger 24" Imac. So much screen real estate! So big and shiny! I know it wouldn't make me happier, wouldn't really change my life all that much but I still want it. I crave it! I secretly wish I'd bought it.
Is this normal?
How does one find a middle ground?
How do I find serenity from these two urges?