I’m perpetually amazed how WE all love to accumulate. Yes, that includes ME. I was afflicted with this disease for the longest time. Now that I realize LESS IS MORE, I consciously, deliberately, with tons of effort, discipline myself away from this senseless consumption habit.
Many of us remember how happy we were when we were younger and nearly always broke. It didn’t stop us from enjoying life. We still did those weekend trips, riding the bus, or cramming ourselves like sardines in a single, dilapidated vehicle (my good ol’ rusty Toyota Corolla). We’d share desserts, content with just a spoonful of those sweet delights because we couldn’t afford another one. These days, we share a dessert either because we’re mindful of the calories or our health condition wouldn’t allow a second serving.
KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Simplicity is key. Before buying that jewelry, signature bag or shoes, ask yourself. DO YOU REALLY NEED IT? I swear I have shoes, bags and sandals in the closet waiting to be used. Last time I cleaned OUT my closet, I found myself giving away good stuff I wore just once or twice. There’s some which were NEVER used. Ask yourself. Do you buy because you need it? Or do you buy out of habit? And then there’s that nasty thing called CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION where people shop to buy social prestige. Like “Look Ma, I can afford to buy a Hermès bag!” or “I deserve to have that Manolo shoes”. Pity. These guys need an audience to admire and confirm their worth?
At this point, I realize that what stands out in my memory are those happy moments and incredible experiences. Like in a safari, you don’t forget the FIRST animal you saw in the wild. Neither do you forget the simple joys of a beach breakfast al fresco when you never planned for it. This last, I need to explain. With breakfast set on the table as usual, my father spontaneously decided we should pack everything in a basket and eat it al fresco near the beach (just 5 Kms from our ancestral house). I couldn’t even remember exactly what we had for breakfast, but the memory of an instant beach scenario plus how that spontaneity put everyone in such a happy, feeling “irresponsible” mood lingers to this day. Papa spent NOT an additional cent for this activity. It’s the EXPERIENCE, the feeling….. that we remember. Much like we remember happy childhoods when we eat a certain food. They bring back happy memories.
So , before you resume your “collection” of stuff you don’t really need…… remember to invest instead in memories. Spend on EXPERIENCES. The memories will serve you well now and in old age. Being happy is when you have tons of these happy memories to last you a lifetime WHILE BUILDING MORE. And since you’re cutting your expenses on this mindless shopping, put those savings into a charity fund if you like. And pray God guides you how to use them. Now, that would even make you happier. Just do it quietly, sincerely, sans audience. ☺