Are You Stuffocating?
There is this picture that news sites use all the time. The home that is completely cluttered with kid toys and late night TV products stacked high with laundry on top of it all somewhere. Kids are out of control. And some glimpse of a parent at a complete loss. It’s always different people, but it’s the same picture. It must be the easiest picture to go out and take. People at home, with so much crap they don’t know what to do.
For all the chaos in this situation, there is a stifling paralysis. I mean, would you have friends over with a house like that? What if they were offered a dream trip around the world or the chance to move to an inspiring place for a year. They probably couldn’t because they wouldn’t know what to do with all their stuff. Not being able to do truly meaningful things because their stuff has them stuck.
That compulsive need to desperately get more stuff, when we haven’t even become adjusted to the last dump load of stuff in a long line of stuff. And no place to put the stuff. And trying to pay or credit card jive for each round of stuff gets stuffed on a long list of other stuff we keep meaning to get to when we get time to it. Stuffity-stuff-stuff-puff-and-stuffins.
Stuffed numb and dumb.
Stuffed full of junk food plastic nonsense.
Stuffed full of guilt and shame.
Then we make excuses for our misbehavior. Kids make us do it. (really?) We worked hard so we deserve it. It’s those advertisers. Blame them. Yea, it was China, because they make it all. It’s the American way. (I bet Lincoln’s log cabin?) It was on sale. We actually saved money! What a pile of...
For all the promise of having stuff, not much happiness comes from it. Stuff just can’t fill the hole it promises to fill. I mean, getting a package in the mail, or unwrapping a present can be fun. But it’s just for a moment. And stuffing ourselves with all these mini moments keeps us from breathing in and living with any true contentment. We know this. When we are honest with ourselves.
As people, we were never meant to serve stuff. To get more stuff to be happy. Most decent religions recognize this. Having fewer things, and only the things we need to make the most of life, allows us freedom. That way, our stuff serves us. And only in ways that have nothing to do with stuff.
I have a few things that I have saved over my life. That I hold dear. But they aren’t worth much of anything in dollars. They mean so much because they remind me of people in my life. Or moments that were pivotal, that I like to remember.
Don’t blind your vision of the life around you with so much stuff. None of it will be of any value to you once next year’s fashion comes around anyway. Being available to life’s possibilities is so much more meaningful.
It’s all we are ever left with any way.