Don’t Need It? Don’t Want It!

“Where’s the money?”
“Joe, the money is gone.”
“Yeah I know it’s gone, but where’s it gone to?”
“Atlantic City.”
“Atlantic City?  Is it coming back from Atlantic City?”
“Oh, I don’t think so, Joe.”
“What’s it doing in Atlantic City, Lucas?”
“Recirculating.”
-Empire Records

After weeks of reflection, I have come to a conclusion:  I don’t want to be wealthy.  Sounds silly, doesn’t it?  I’m defying the American Dream.  Well, sorry Willy Loman (because it worked out so well for him!).

I recently sold/gave away/swapped my Wii system and games, including a Rockband set & Guitar Hero: World Tour set.  In the process of pricing everything out, I deduced that in the span of two years, I had spent more than $800 on something I hadn’t used for close to a year.  Money that could have been better spent paying off student loan and credit card debt.

Really makes you think.

A co-worker told me a story on Monday.  Here’s the sum-up: Guy tells co-worker foreigners are ruining the country/economy/whatever.  Co-worker asks him to elaborate.  Guy (who is a TV salesman) says North Americans buy/upgrade a TV every two years while the foreigners keep the TV till the thing is busted.

Good point.

We live in a hugely commercial culture, it means nothing to us to buy a new thingamajig when our old one busts, opposed to repairing it.  I’m beginning to be disgusted with myself and my materialistic attitude.

Who cares if my couches and chair don’t match?  They’re comfortable to sit in.

Who cares my second hand plates have chips in them?  They still hold food.

What is our fascination with stuff?  My big thing right now is wanting an iPad.  Why do I want it?  Because it’s cool.  But I already have an iPhone and a Macbook.  That should be more than enough!  I have gone 28 years without an iPad; I can go infinitely longer.

Everyone has their own motivation for doing what they do.  Here’s mine:  my faith.

Religion has been raked over the coals for years and quite honestly a lot of us have deserved and continue to deserve the criticism.  But I hope you’ll all agree what I quote next transcends belief or non-belief.

“Defend the cause of the week and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.  Rescue the weak and needy; delivery them from the hand of the wicked.”  – Psalm 82: 3-4

I don’t want to turn this into a religious debate, that isn’t the point.  But this thought, this ideal has been pushing me forward.  What if, instead of spending my money on useless trinkets I won’t use after a year or so, I spend money on furthering causes that defend the rights of the poor, the oppressed, the weak and the needy.  “But Kim”, you say, “can’t you do more with more money?”  Probably.  But I don’t trust myself to think objectively if I’m able to swan dive in a pile of money.

There was a time when this would all be sour grapes, envious of the people who have.  These days, I can honestly say that’s not the case.  I don’t want three houses – why would anyone have three houses when there’s people in the world living in a box???????  I don’t want the priceless gems – especially when light is being shed on how such gems are acquired.  Sure, one day I’d like to be debt free, and have my own house and perhaps a car that doesn’t have starter issues, but why should I get all that when some people can’t feed their family?

It’s hard not to continue taking part in keeping up with the Joneses, and there are times where I will stumble, but what journey doesn’t have bumps?

It’s time for me to stop talking about changing the world and start doing it, one unpurchased iPad, plasma TV, and stupid little computer game at a time.

 

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3 Comments

  1. As a few more people begin to adopt your attitude, the Jones’ will have less to keep up with, and maybe they’ll chill out a bit too. Unlikely, but we can hope!

  2. […] because I’m an enterprising person, and I admittedly have a bunch of crap I don’t need, I take some games that hadn’t been sold and some […]

  3. […] Remember? Money isn’t everything; so long as I can pay my bills, I’ll be good. […]


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