Stuff – the advertising, desire, acquisition, storage, and disillusion of it – is with us always. Or at least while we are on social media. This is natural, correct, and good…in the same way that we all welcome and benefit from tuberculosis. ( Cough, cough…)
If you are a little doubtful about this, try the experiment of going a week without buying stuff. Just don’t spend any new money. Stay out of the shops and away from the advertisements. See what it does to you.
You may find that you are miserable and deprived – cold, hungry, and frightened. This, too, is natural, correct, and good – because it shows you what it is like to be poor. If you already knew, I apologise.
Well, what do you do when you don’t shop and you don’t buy? Here’s a few suggestions:
a. You clean. You own more than enough things that are dirty – they can nearly all be improved by being cleaned. Soap and water are cheap and you’d be amazed how much of the world can be righted with these two ingredients. Remember that before the 20th century detergented everything, the world cleaned up with soap.
b. You cook. Assuming that you are not locked in a stone cell with nothing whatsoever, you probably have some place to cook and may be lucky enough to have something to prepare. Do it – you need not eat it if it is horrible, but at least you know not to do that again.
c. You read. As long as you are not reading advertisements you are reading something that will make you smarter.
d. You write. Write away for free offers, write to friends, write your journal, write to the editor and complain. Write the Great Novel Of Our Time. ( Be aware that white whales and mystical kingdoms have been done to death. ) Write mash notes. Write blackmail demands. Write a book of religion.
e. You art. Art may be paint, photograph, sculpt, or whatever. Do it with what is about you – you’ll not only art but clean up the place as well.
f. You talk, To yourself or others – your choice. If you engage in meaningful debate with scholars you will get a reputation for wisdom. If you prattle with children and teenagers you will gain a reputation as a fool. Try to find a balance.
g. You walk or ride. Whichever you do , you travel somewhere and come back. Whatever you saw as you went can be used when you get back.
h. You dig and plant. Even the smallest garden – the potato in the glass of water – can be a wonderful achievement as it grows. As your grounds grow bigger your opportunity for cultivation expands exponentially.