The Danger Of More Stuff

You’ve got lots of stuff, right? Most everybody does, or if they don’t, they want the kind of stuff you have. But what if your stuff was helping to destroy the planet? I hope this page will give you a brand new perspective on your stuff and inspire you to become part of the Ever Evolving Vanguard for healing the planet.

Did you watch the George Carlin video about stuff? In my opinion, he is one of the most profound philosophers of modern time. Yes, he a comedian, but a good one is a astute observer of human nature. And he was never afraid to ‘tell it like it is.’ His take on ‘stuff’ is perfect. It’s short, so if you haven’t already, give it a watch right now.

Funny, but pretty insightful video, isn’t it? My goal on this page is to help you get a new perspective on your ‘stuff.’ So let’s dig into this topic. You might like what I have to say, but it’s super important to your future.

Quizplanation: The down and dirty explanation of a concept or idea.

The bottom line is:

  • The more you buy,
  • The more you will throw away,
  • The more you will pollute,
  • The more in-debt you will be,
  • The more stressed you will be by that debt,
  • The more your body and mind will fall ill from the stress,
  • And the harder you have to work—maybe at a job you don’t like.

So, the less you buy, the less likely you are to go into debt, the less stress you’ll have to live with, and you could do work you love, that might not pay as well. That’s a recipe for happiness.

Why Not Have It All?

I grew up in the years of “Yes you can become a millionaire if you work hard enough;” “You should want the big house, big car, fancy watch, clothes, vacations, etc;” and, “The good life comes after you’ve earned your riches.”

Unfortunately, that’s a loud message that is still bombarding all of us. Not only does brainwashing cause us to want more because we’re told it’s a sign of success, but advertising is everywhere trying to convince us to continually buy more of everything from Doritos to the latest cool shoes.

During the years I was married, my husband and I strove to have it all. We’d sell a house and move into something bigger, in a more prestigious neighborhood. And of course, we had to upgrade our furniture to fit the new level of ‘success.’ We even built a big fancy house on a hill, overlooking all of Santa Barbara. We drove the fancy cars, had fancy parties, and went on fancy vacations.

My Big Wake-Up Call

Then one evening, I was at a dinner party with several of our wealthy ‘friends.’ At one point the man on my left was talking to the person to his left, and the man on my right was talking to the person on his right. There I was, with no one to talk to. So I tuned in to every conversation around the table.

Holy moly! As I moved from one conversation to the next I was awakened to a new reality. Every conversation had to do with money. What they were buying, what they were selling, where they were going on their next trip, what boat they were considering, how their remodel was going, and their golf score from their morning round at their exclusive country club.

I realized in that moment that I was living the wrong life. I discussed my awakening with my husband and he agreed that we’d gotten off track in our desire to hang out with what we thought were the important people. We decided to sell our big showy house on the hill and move out of the prestigious neighborhood.

We also stopped spending time with people who were not true friends. We were done with what is often called ‘climbing.’ I prefer to call it striving.

And do you know what? We were much happier in that simpler life. We no longer had the stress of climbing to the next rung, to meet the ‘right’ people, to have the right clothes, or to drive the ‘right’ car.

We eventually got divorced for reasons that don’t apply to this conversation. We have stayed friends and each of us has continued to live that simpler life.

Today, over twenty years later, my perspective on life has evolved even further. I have learned that the less I have, the happier I am, and the happier I am, the less I want. When I realized that, it was a hallelujah moment.

So What’s My Point?

One of the primary reasons our world is so polluted is because we’ve all been brainwashed to want more.

Because manufacturers must continue to sell more and more to make a profit, they pay big money to marketers and advertisers so you will want to keep buying and striving for more, bigger, better stuff. A good example is the pharmaceutical corporations. I’ve seen where up to $19 is spent on marketing for every dollar spent on research and development. They know marketing works.

The next problem in keeping the profits high is the products are not made to last. You’ve maybe heard of ‘planned obsolescence.’ That means the manufacturers of your cars, cell phones, computers, refrigerators, and washing machines are built to wear out sooner than they need to. Why, so you’ll have to replace it sooner. Did you know the lifespan of the incandescent light bulbs you have been purchasing (and replacing) is much less than it needs to be because they are built to burn out quickly? If knowing this doesn’t make you angry, it should.

That is the opposite of what must happen if we are going to gain some sanity regarding the destruction of the planet and the growing problem of pollution.

I Hate To Bring It Up But…

Have you ever purchased something with money you didn’t have? That’s called buying on credit. When you first bought those shoes with your credit card, you were excited, right? But then, the shoes became no longer new and you were left with a bill. Or what about that new car you just had to have? Exciting at first, then resentment when it was time to pay that monthly bill. Same with a house, or anything you buy on credit.

You know about the added cost of the item known as interest. When you look at the overall cost, compared to what the ‘sticker’ price was, it’s pretty scary. But what about the cost to your health? Yes, stress is very hard on your body. And worry about paying your bills causes stress on your mind. And you’ve heard that most marriages break up over sex or money? Well, of course, when you’ve got all that stress about money, which can easily lead to lack of interest in the bedroom. Yikes! Who needs all that?

Want To Make Some Magic?

We need to teach ourselves—then become a Leader and teach others—to get along with less, to keep stuff longer, to make repairs, and then recycle everything possible. And when we do purchase something, do our best to buy products that are planet-friendly.

As you get used to buying less, you’ll become a happier, less stressed person. You’ll enjoy your relationships more, you might even be able to do work that makes your heart sing, rather than the job that makes enough money to pay for all that debt. Is this making sense? I sure hope so.

Trust me, having gone through all the cycles of striving, paying $10,000 a month to keep a house, and all the other expenses like cars, vacations, entertaining, and everything to do with keeping up with the ‘in crowd’, it feels amazing to enjoy a much simpler, almost stress-free life.

Each of us can begin to make changes in our lives, and in the process, maybe step up and get some feel-good mojo going by helping others.

A great example is the video to the right, Fashion From Rags. This young woman is doing something huge, as a business, as a humane employer, and as an environmentalist. Prepare to be amazed.

Fashion From Rags

Fashion Made From Frabic Waste

Advertising Is Evil

You won’t like this, but you have been brainwashed since you were old enough to watch your first TV commercials. It is so insidious that we don’t even notice it.

Why do I call advertising evil? Because it makes you buy thing you don’t want, go into debt, purchase food you know is unhealthy, buy things you know won’t actually get you the model-perfect man or woman (or even love). One of the most powerful tools advertisers use is to make you feel inadequate, enticing you to buy things that will ‘make your life perfect.’

And now, with the heavy advertising for the pharmaceutical industry, you go to the doctor more than you might, and take drugs that you certainly wouldn’t take if you didn’t know they existed. How do they do that? They create fear. And many if not all medications are dangerous. That’s evil any way you look at it.

I posted the “When You Wake Up” video on the Are You Brainwashed page, but just in case you haven’t seen it, watch it now.

Here’s another video that talks about just the electronic waste. Even if you only watch the first 3 minutes, you’ll have a new appreciation for how bad buying new electronic ‘stuff’ is.

We Can Stop the Insanity

It’s insane that all this is accepted as business as usual. Manufacturers can make products that have interchangeable parts so repairs can be easy, and they can build in ways to upgrade for when new technology will certainly make the previous product obsolete. That way the product doesn’t need to be thrown away. Another thing you may have questioned is why there are so many kinds of toothpaste, dental floss, screw drivers, light bulbs, TVs, cell phones, etc., when there only needs to be one or two. Competition and the drive for profit is destroying our lives and our precious planet.

To take it another step, if the electronic geniuses were free to share their innovations as open source, there wouldn’t have to be several companies competing to make basically the same product. Open source is growing in popularity, mostly via young people who have a different view of how to help mankind.

To go beyond that, why do we all need to own one of everything? With the new sharing economy, like Uber, why does everyone need a car when most of the time it is sitting in the driveway? I know several people who sold their cars with the intention of using Uber. When they need a car for a road trip, they rent one for the time they need it.

Besides ideas like Uber, why not have cars in wait stations where you can borrow one just for the hours you need it? No car loan, no upkeep, only a fee when you check a car out.

An apartment complex next to City College in Santa Barbara had 3 electric cars that students could take out when needed. The new sharing concept can be done for lots of things, and hopefully, it will become more and more common in the future. Check out my blog post about the little free libraries and little free pantries that are becoming popular in neighborhoods around the country: They’re Popping Up Everywhere.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Our landfills are responsible for part of the methane gas that is warming the earth. You have the power to do something about that by learning to enjoy a life where ‘less is more.’ Pay attention to your desire to make a purchase. Ask yourself why you want it. Then, wait for a few hours or even days, and almost always, your desire for the item will have disappeared. Try it. It’s pretty revealing how powerful advertising is. And for the food items, do the same thing and you’ll get in better shape.

As always, is here to empower you to think for yourself as you become aware of how you have been manipulated all through your life.

Visit this page and be inspired by some of the ways that people are dealing with helping to clean up the pollution. Like the man who carried a month’s worth of trash everywhere he went? Crazy, but made the point. Keep reminding yourself that less is more, and the better you’re able to live a simpler, less stressful life, the happier you’ll be.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” —Chief Seattle

Free Mind-Opening Ebook

More than anything else I’ve found, The Zeitgeist Movement Defined, Realizing a New Train of Thought, gives me more hope that a beautiful future is possible for all. Not right away, though. We all need to shift our thinking, open our hearts, and awaken to a new way of seeing the world. If you truly want to heal the planet and build a better future, download this book for free. I am on my second reading, have watched all three Zeitgeist Documentaries, posted here on EE, along with some of Peter Joseph’s interviews. Consider joining or starting a Zeitgeist Chapter where you live.