It’s been one year since I purchased any clothes, shoes, jewelry, purses, or makeup.
And I don’t ever want to buy anything ever again.
But I will, eventually. My winter coat could tear, my socks might wear out, my heels will whittle down to nubs. I’ll have to replace some of my clothes, shoes, and makeup. I might even want to purchase a dress for Christmas.
Looking at my closet, and my dresser, however, I see that I have enough.
I have plenty of socks and t-shirts, sweatpants and underwear.
I have more than enough skirts and dresses, blouses and pants.
I have 8 pairs of jeans. That’s more than enough.
I have brown boots and black boots, sandals and flip flops, snow boots and pumps.
It’s enough. I don’t need anything more.
And what’s more amazing is I have shed my desire—my want—for more.
Because I think in our society we have a problem with more. We are brainwashed into thinking we never have enough. We gobble up material items, news, entertainment, so that we have immeasurable quantity, and so very clearly a lack of quality.
I am frightened by the path our nation and our world heads down. Regardless of political stance, I think any human can look at our earth and see that we are polluting it. Whether or not you believe climate change is manmade or something that the earth experiences every few millennia, you cannot look at a heap of clothing and electronics in a landfill in Asia without realizing how we—you and me—are hurting the Earth. You might think that the people who make these clothes lead far better lives because we employ them, but you still cannot look at the landfills without feeling worried.
I believe without a doubt that every human on Earth wants two things: 1) to have a purpose and be of use, and 2) to love and be loved.
Often our idea that we have a purpose and we are of us is conflated with the American dream: work hard, find a job you enjoy, own a house, a car, and some nice things. But the American dream—which has become the Global dream—is morbidly obese. Owning things has changed to owning everything; owning everything that is bigger, better, newer. Where do the old things go? They do not decompose. They are not reincarnated.
The only option in a capitalist society is to ask for better quality. We must still make things, sell things, purchase things, but we can change those things from useless crap into useful beauty.
We have to demand it.
We have to demand that the items we purchase are made from responsible, eco-friendly companies that treat others well and don’t harm the planet. We CAN demand that, because we are the consumers.
We are the consumers. We make the demands. WE decide. Here’s a list of companies that make the world a better place when they create products you consume. Support them, because they are supporting you and your progeny.
We have to demand the entertainment we watch is fiction; we need to stop deriving pleasure from real people’s train wrecks. It is not good for our souls. We must demand entertainment that inspires us, uplifts us, does good for others, rather than slanders and tarnishes their images. I know there is a higher demand for uplifting entertainment, and that makes me hopeful.
Our desire—greed, really—for more does not fill our hearts with love. It does not give us purpose. Unless you derive purpose from shining the crystal in your buffet daily, you won’t be more fulfilled by buying more and more to store on your shelves.
I’ve shed my desire for things. I will need to buy to replace, yes. I will want to buy a pretty dress or cute shoes some day soon, but I hope to—and don’t think I will—never let the desire—the want—the greed—take over and consume me. What I consume will consume me. But I am in control, and so are you.
I feel free. I want nothing—nothing material anyway. My goals for accomplishing things only grows as my wish list diminishes.
Every time I think, “Oh, that is cute. Maybe I should buy it,” I remember that instead of spending $40 on a dress or shoes, I could save that money and donate it to an organization that betters the lives of others. I could throw that into the offering plate at church. I could host a potluck instead.
My list of goals I want to accomplish in life—goals to better others’ lives, make a difference—grows as I shed my desire to own things. I don’t want to own things. I want to help people.
And owning things gets in the way of that.
Here’s to 12 months without shopping. I feel amazing.
P.S. You can do it. I know you can. Will you join me?
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