Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Collecting "stuff"

I had one of those late night epiphanies in the wee small hours of this morning about stuff... and in particular, the stuff I consider to be precious. It was a crazy thought that somehow substantiated itself the more I considered it:

I can recall the origin of everything or mostly everything I hold dear.

Now when I say "origin" I mean the where & the who... I don't always remember the when... and the how & the why are irrelevant, in my opinion. My focus is on the where... where I obtained an item... and/or the who (if appropriate)... who gave me an item.

The Levi's I am wearing came from a Shelter Charityshop in Hamilton.
The blue Vans slip-ons were purchased in the reduced-to-clear section of TKMaxx at the Fort in Glasgow.
My flannel shirt was bought half-price in ASDA in Hamilton with Olly there to help me choose.
My stripy socks were a gift from Olly.
My Paul Frank vinyl wallet was purchased whilst on holiday with my family in Lido di Jesolo, Northern Italy;
My iPad was another gift from Olly with a case purchased with an award from my work.
The iPhone 3GS I am writing this post on was originally owned by Olly who gave it to me when she upgraded.
The Griffin case that protects it was purchased reduced-to-clear in Tesco in Bellshill.

You get the gist.

The point of this post is not for me to show off... either my stuff or my nerdism... but to say that the way to combat rampant and blatantly mindless materialism is to attribute meaning to what we have & take time to remember what that meaning is... to contemplate the significance that has been allocated to the item... the value placed on the "thing" I hold dear.

It's a form of awareness... a sense of being in the moment... and it is far from mindless.

I don't need more because I have what I have now. That's not to say I won't collect more but collecting is different from consuming... collecting is about appreciation... it's about the thing... its about stewardship... whereas consumption is about the act of consuming... it's not about the 'thing' but the act of getting... of obtaining. These are two different acts.

As long as I can remember the origin story for each item I treasure then I, in my opinion, remain a collector & not a consumer.


1 comment:

Damien O'Keeffe said...

Thomas, as ever, you hit the nail on the head with a hammer of sense! Materialism has been one if the several 'evils' of the modern age. To consume endlessly and needlessly without consideration is leading humanity down a blind alley in the search for happiness. I always worry when I hear or read if the 'emerging economies' where they are built on our consumption.
To connect what we collect with the person and the place does embue the act with a meaning and, in my opinion, a certain purpose. And that keeps me warm just like the charity shop sweater that Julia bought for me yesterday, and I'm wearing right now! Blessings. D


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