Archive for July, 2008
I’ve been struggling with my consumerism lately.
I’m in a position right now that I have ample cash flow to spend and not have to worry about meeting my monthly bills. Right now my biggest goal is to get rid of debt, which I have been doing at quite a nice clip.
On the other hand I’ve also been buying a lot of stuff lately. In no particular order I have bought:
- Six pieces of clothing (~$120 or so)
- A Sharper Image Air Purifier
- An iPhone
- Some random accessories for my bike
- A horde of shaving supplies
I walked by a homeless guy then a driver in a BMW pulling into a parking garage. I was on the same block, and passed both within 20 seconds of each other. I was shocked at the differential in quality of living in such a close space; That brought about quite a bit of cognitive dissonance.
I have this strange desire to rid myself my iPhone. Not because I don’t want it or like it, but I look at it and wonder if that is money better spent on improving public transportation or access to healthcare.
There is the flip side to the argument that buy purchasing an iPhone I have supported development and job creation, albeit in China (and to a lesser extent Cupertino).
In many ways, I want not to want.
I think once you begin wanting and allowing yourself to fulfill your wants it becomes a never ending cycle of fulfilling wants, without a justifiable end or corresponding an increase in happiness.
I can justify the iPhone in my mind. I’ve gotten rid of my car, so I’m using it for info on buses and the like, and to have handier access to maps. But by deciding not to want my car I’ve created and fulfilled another want.
I’ve been debating repeating my purchasing free experiment again. It was refreshing to make it all a week without buying anything. I wrote “In many ways it feels good to purchase something new. How many times do you hear people bragging about their latest purchase?” back then. I’ve definitely bragged about my iPhone, but I keep trying not to.
Right before I went out to buy it I had a friend tell me, “I have a rule – never love anything that can’t love you back.”
That is good advice that I am trying to follow.