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An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.
– Charles Edwards

Two months ago I started my first job.

Two months collecting cheques.

Two months watching my bank balance climb.

Two whole months.

Two months to learn that I don’t care about money.

Two months to realize I don’t care for a luxurious life.

Two months to understand that I prefer a simple life; happiness without glitter; contentment without unnecessary burden. I don’t desire to possess things. Things are a burden. You protect them, you care for them, you  pay attention to them. They give you back nothing, nothing but the transient thrill of dominion. Of having chattel to call your own.

Things leave me unmoved. These things they offer in shop windows; not worth having. Fancy watches, ridiculously priced designer goods, a varied assortment of luxury items. None of it strikes a chord. To value this chicanery, the false allure of possession, to pretend they represent real value, is nonsense..

This was a revelation to me. I’ve always thought I had a penchant for things. I’ve always seen myself at least partially as a material person. Fancy things, I didn’t have because I didn’t have the money. That was the barrier – finances.

Now the barrier is desire. There isn’t any desire to have these false idols, these false totems clutter my life.

You may say, as others have, that I benefit from my fathers shadow, that he takes care of the major expenses leaving me with an income disposable. And this is true.

But my point is that I don’t care to spend it even if I can. I don’t see the need to spend  on things. There are no things worth it. At least precious few that I have identified. Perhaps you can explain to me what an item you have to have is. I’ve never seen one in all my wondering.

I confine my contempt to things. People, experiences, events, knowledge are far more worth spending on. They are eternal, they last in enduring and subtle ways. Good conversation over a good meal, cheap and invaluable. A relaxed moment, a friendly chat. Far more enduring then the transient sensation of spending recklessly. A pearl of knowledge, a gem of advice, an eight piece of wisdom. Wealth beyond comparison to any lucre of this material world.

It is this treasury that I choose to build, this wealth that grabs me, this cause towards which I will spend. I see this, and say that it is good.



  1. I have been feeling that way for a long time, even without getting cheques for employers. Maybe I convinced myself I don’t need material because I can’t afford them. Whatever the reason I agree with you on this. The part about things being a burden is something new for me. I will probably want even fewer things because of this (that they are burdens).

    Just out of curiosity, how much TV/movie do you consume and how much of a burden do you think they are? 😉

    • mtalib
    • Posted July 1, 2007 at 2:06 am
    • Permalink

    Movies, not very much at all. I’ve seen two in the last three months, and only because my brother bought the tickets and asked if I wanted to come. If it had been left to my own volition I would not have seen even those. So not a burden at all, as I’m not consuming any.

    TV, a little bit more, but at the moment only Scrubs, Red Dwarf and QI. Most TV shows, and perhaps I’m being a little strange here, I can’t be bothered to deal with new characters and new stories. I like the comfort of going over something that I’ve already seen or heard before, and so I’m not exploring new TV shows, and not enjoying those few that I do see. In the end, not very much of a burden either, because I”m being very picky about what I’m watching.

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