A couple of days ago I came across a TEDx Talk called A rich life with less stuff, by two guys who call themselves The Minimalists. I’ve talked before on this blog about simplifying one’s life and I continue to enjoy simplifying mine, especially getting rid of stuff.
Perhaps you don’t expect a Buddhist monk to have much stuff, and perhaps I don’t, relatively speaking, but I know that I have more than I need or want, stuff that I haven’t used in years. So why am I hanging on to it? Because I paid good money for it? Because I might need it one day (even if I haven’t needed it for the last 10 years – I think that’s how long since I last wore these purple flip-flops, seriously)? Because I might not be able to get it again if I need it in future?
There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, if you use them or enjoy them. I’m talking about the stuff that is boxed up under the bed or pushed to the back of the cupboard or stored in the garage, which hasn’t seen the light of day for years. When I moved from Throssel to the Hermitage at the beginning of last year I pulled out the boxes of stuff from under my bed and brought them with me. When the Hermitage moved to Cromford this year some of those same boxes, unopened, moved with me. That’s not going to happen again.
Why are we so attached to our stuff? I reckon it is fear, fear that I may suffer in future if I do not have a pair of flip-flops. Sounds ridiculous put like that, but there is no other reason I have these flip-flops and that is just too heavy a burden. Tomorrow they are going to a charity shop. And not just the flip-flops.