My brother Stick used to have a bumper sticker which said, "He who dies with the most toys WINS!" The true irony was that the bumper it was stuck to was an old orange Buick Opel. He swore by that car (and I believe, sometimes AT it). It was able to jump start bigger, newer vehicles many times. I drove that car to most of my senior year of high school, and even I have fond memories of it. Later, I saw that same slogan on a NO FEAR T-shirt, but slightly altered: "He who dies with the most toys still DIES."
Unfortunately, somehow, I have managed to buy into the whole propaganda. I seem to need material possessions to make me feel better. This last month, we have been getting a load ready to take to the D.I. (which for those reading unaware of this, is a thrift store started by the LDS church). We aren't even finished putting things together, and my truck bed is so full the guards at the prison where I volunteer sometimes have an apoplexy thinking there may be an inmate hiding in there somewhere.
There are obviously things we have to have in order to live, and some things that make our lives much more comfortable, but I worry sometimes that I may be too materialistic. Then I wonder: if I were wealthy, yes, i would have a nice house and good cars, and stock the house with some great "toys," but would I really feel the need to continue buying? If my life were smoother, would I have the compulsion to look in the Wal-Mart $5 DVD bin/rack every time I walk past? Would I feel the need to even spend more time and money than required to purchase my food, hygiene products and cleaning supplies, etc.
I know that the love of money is the root of all evil, and that being possession-minded is wrong, but I can't seem to help myself. I make more money than I ever thought I would, have more debt than I ever thought I could, and spend more than I ever thought I should, but I still gather and hoard whatever I can. Boy do I hoard. I have so many books, my shelves are too small now, and the books are in piles on the floor, which means, of course, that I will have to buy bigger and better book-shelves. My CD collections is divided into stacks located in at least 4 or five different locations (other than the CD drawers which can't hold all of them).
When do we reach critical mass? When is enough ENOUGH? When will I finally have enough of the things that I really want? And when will everyone quit getting cooler things, making me want to run out and spend even more? The saddest thing is, by the time I can finally get everything I want, I'll probably be too old to really enjoy it. Either that, or I'll decide that's when it's time to simplify my life. Alas, will ironies never cease? I'm just glad that darned bumper sticker wasn't true.....was it?