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Are Possessions Important?

by Ben Shelley 3 months ago in Humanity
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Or is there more to life?

Are Possessions Important?
Photo by Mink Mingle on Unsplash

As we move through our lives, we collect items that we refer to as possessions. We are taught that this is the route to happiness and we should continue to collect more and more, but is this really the case?

With the cost of living crisis in our homes, I ask what is essential and where could we save ourselves from debt?

My Background

My existence is based on £10,000 of debt.

Final credit card pay-offs, student loans and the odd credit agreement from a third party. It is something I have chipped away at over the years, yet have barely made an impact owing to the consideration that I never want to take a step back. I am far too concerned with moving forward.

The association that I have in my head is that the accumulation of possessions is linked to happiness. Something that most of us would agree is ridiculous, as we know that being happy, truly happy takes time. It comes from those you love and care about not your possessions.

It is derived from your interactions with those that you cannot live without. This is what we will regret in the end...that we did not prioritise our loved ones enough and instead focused on ourselves and our possessions.

  • I know all of this. I accept it but still feel the need to purchase the newest phone every few years and or games console
  • I feel the need to purchase the latest and greatest videogame release and feel the need to incorporate as many pokemon cards into my life as humanely possible
  • I accept that I need to slow down but cannot seem to find the time to do so.

The Marketing Machine

My field of work is marketing and therefore as I am writing this entry, I understand that it may come across as a critical comment on myself but there are many fields within the discipline.

My work focuses my time on events and the comment I am about to make is on the machine as a whole. How it sells a materialistic vision of life, much like that which we see at Christmas, where it is in fact about the memories we make with those we love.

Christmas is focused on presents. The marketing machine works overdrive each and every year to drum across this message and ensure that by the time the New Year has passed, we are all limping to the next pay cheque.

It is a drain but we do so as that is how love has been sold to us over the years, that you need to buy those that you care about gifts. Children need to receive as many presents as possible but this really isn't what the message should be...

The Lifespan of a Gift

Most items today are built with an expiry date in mind.

They are presented to us as a gift for a few years that will need to be topped up with something else in the future.

If it was not sold this way, then how would the companies continue to sell? How would Apple sell the latest iPhone if they did not build them with a three-year mindset?

It is wrong. In the grand scheme of things it's not something that we should encourage but as every company operates this way and the message is about obtaining material wealth to justify your life, who are we to argue?

I for one am certainly looking forward to receiving my SteamDeck, despite the consideration that I should save the money to pay off some of my debts.

Everything has its time, whether that is a comment aimed at humans, toys or your latest phone. Everything we own and have is limited, much like our lives. We have a finite window to accumulate all the experiences that we wish for and spend time with those we care for as once that window is gone, it will never come back.

I always wonder what it will be like on that bed when you are looking death in the eye...will I be happy and great him like an old friend, knowing I did everything that I needed to, or will I be begging for more time?

My Focus

On my to-do list is a section that says sell unused items. It is a section that has been there for more than a year but rather than begin the process I continually halt it.

I continue to tell myself that I do not have the time and maybe I'll start using that item tomorrow. I never do but for the life of me, I cannot bear to part with some of the items that I no longer use. Why? I think about how much money I spent on it and never used, which in turn makes me sad.

Now as writing is my therapy I want to move forward with these changes. To start to sell that which is no longer needed. My phone, I love and need to contact my wife, so I will not lose that but I will sell the games that I no longer play and the pokemon cards for which I have many doubles.

I want to have in mind the thought of being a stable father and getting to that point with minimal debt. I do not want to be thinking about buying another pack of Pokemon cards when my son or daughter arrives. I want to have my eye solely aimed at my child, my wife and the wider family as a whole.

A Final Thought

I love my wife and will love our future child but before we get to that point I need to let go. To say goodbye to the past, those purchases that are never utilised and never will be. To those extra cards and books that are gathering dust, I need to sell them or donate them to a charity shop, as I quite literally do not have the time and never will.

We have finite lifespans and cannot achieve everything we want and so need to focus. To narrow down exactly what we want and work back from there in order to be successful in whatever we choose to be successful at. Whether that is running, being a father, working or being a husband.

We need to have a purpose in our lives and that is something that I need to help myself with.

Yes, I spent more money than I should on many items but this does not mean that it should define me. No. This should help me focus in the future and build a better tomorrow, knowing that I will not make the same mistake twice. This is what my focus will be. To give back and prioritise rather than attempt to invest in everything.

Humanity

About the author

Ben Shelley

Someone who has no idea about where their place is in this world, yet for the love of content, must continue writing.

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