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Do We Really Need All That Stuff?

Do we really need all that stuff?

Did you see all the Black Friday advertisements and sale prices recently? A few years ago in Finland, we had no such thing as a Black Friday. Now, somehow, we have an entire “Black Week.”

You and I were bombarded with offers of big discounts, great deals and last chances. “Don’t miss out on this amazing offer!” I’m especially making myself bothered by: “One Day Only!”

How do you feel when you read: “One Day Only!”

I do love beautiful things. I love nice-looking spaces. I love pretty clothes. I sometimes love shopping, too. And I don’t “need” much of anything. I imagine many of us in Europe don’t need many more belongings.

I make myself happy with some things I do have: my stovetop espresso maker (which I enjoy using practically every day), my two dandelion mugs, my pyjamas and soft dressing gown, the warm blanket on my bed, my funky engagement and wedding rings made of silver, my red backpack and my pink water bottle. Oh, and my candles and candle holders, especially the big ones that I got a few years ago while with my friend Riitta. I have pink candles in them and I burn them on dark evenings.

Rather than purchasing more stuff and being surrounded by yet more belongings and suffocating under a clutter of my own making, I want to have things that I enjoy, use and love. And I want to enjoy, use and love the things I have.

What do you own that you cherish, enjoy having and use often?
Are you willing to take a moment to appreciate them?

I enjoyed seeing that some companies said no Black Friday and didn’t offer any discounts. I enjoyed seeing charities asked for people to support them instead of (literally) buying into the buying hysteria. I liked noticing that people donated money to charities rather than buying stuff and I did that, too. (I donated money to homeless people’s organization.)

I liked reading postings on Facebook about “White Monday”- about reusing, re-purposing, repairing and recycling. We don’t need to own everything or get everything new.

Consumerism and us purchasing more and more stuff seems to be a pursuit for happiness and well-being. I judge the goal to be very important goal yet I don’t like the means for achieving it. According to research, happiness attained through purchasing material goods is short-lasting. Happiness attained through experiences, on the other hand, lasts longer. Thus, I believe we’re better off (and much happier) by talking to other people rather than buying stuff. Even talking to strangers at bus stops or in cafes is more enriching for us.

When did you last talk to a stranger?

I want to enjoy the belongings that are dear and meaningful for me and leave the meaningless stuff on the shelves in the stores. I want to allow myself to miss out on that “amazing” offer, not only today, yet every day. I want to go outside and look at the sky. And I want to look at the trees. And I want to look into the eyes of my fellow humans. Will you join me?

Love, Tuulia

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