They end up owning you

One aspect of my current itinerant lifestyle is my reliance on many fewer physical objects than most people. One caveat is that I am using a lot of other people’s things: food-related items, for example. Therefore I don’t need as many things as a settled person. However, this article by Leo Babauta at mnmlist reminded me that lots of material possessions are not really necessary, even for a settled person, even for someone with multiple children.

[Edit: this is also a cool way to reduce your need for stuff]

Another related point is a realization I had today while playing board games at a friend’s house: we are strongly acculturated to focus single-mindedly on making money. In these board games (Power Grid, Puerto Rico), money is important, but only because it’s the primary way to get “victory points”. But in real life, while money can help you be successful, there are many other paths as well. What’s important is to define what success in life means to you. This really amounts to identifying what you value. It takes a lot of thinking. I put a high stock in the basics, and after those are achieved I’m interested in making music, making change, and making friends. All of these things can be accomplished with a minimum of money and physical things, so I attempt to deny those areas of my acculturation. But that’s just what I’m interested in. You don’t need to place importance in the same things as me, but you do need to figure out what is important to you. So think about it! You’ll be glad you did.

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