March 15, 2013

Ridiculous Overabundance



I was waiting for the bus today with the frigid wind biting my fingers. My pocket had decided to tie the mother of all knots in my earbuds and I spent the time thinking about what I used to do before my Ipod.  I remembered how awesome my portable CD player was at the time and how goofy that would look today.

I remember how awesome it was to have the gift of music with me wherever I went. My CD player also had something special: skip protection. Remember that? (For all you kids who missed this, it means that I could sit on the bus with my songs only skipping when the bus clobbered over big bumps, not the little ones.)

The memories brought me to thinking about how nice and convenient is to have a whole music library with you and how we no longer need CDs around, cluttering our houses. I can’t help but thinking that we’ve reached an age of overabundance that would astound our predecessors.  We are now at the point that we have so much stuff, we pay money for non-tangible goods.  That is such a bizarre concept. Non-tangible goods have no resale value. Could you imagine explaining to your great-grandparents that the store you just bought is a "virtual" store and not an actual establishment?  

We are surrounded by so much stuff, we pay for less stuff. Regardless of the overabundance that surrounds each of us, we still buy more.  I took an inventory of things that I use every day. I was sort of shocked that I really only use a small portion of what I own on a daily basis. I could probably pack those things in a suitcase. In fact, I do every time I travel. Laptop, camera, ipod and kindle top the list of things I use everyday, assuming I'm not counting necessities like my hairbrush or my pillow. 

I feel like our gadgets do more and more with less space, but we are still surrounded by more things than ever. Our stuff makes us feel secure. We feel it will help us through a time of scarcity. We've hit the point that scarcity would, indeed, be rare. Maybe we, like our gadgets, need to start doing more with less. Less stuff means less distractions from the things that really matter. We need to bring back the human element to life. We need to foster deeper relationships and friendships. Let go, and trust that we can rely on each other in tough times. We should stop trying to be tiny islands onto ourselves.    

6 comments:

  1. Well said. I remember my Walkman and how cool it was 10 years ago!

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    1. Yes! The kids of this generation would hardly believe we carried those and made do with one cd or a sleeve of cds in our backpacks.

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  2. Not something I would have expected after the article on old love letters, but this resonated with me all the same.

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    1. Thanks Ana! Sometimes something philosophical comes over me. :)

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  3. It's rather horrible how annoyed I am by not being able to fit some songs onto my two miniSD cards to play in my mobile phone... and how many songs I simply had to remember, and perhaps sing myself (yes, that's it) years ago.
    In that respect, I'm glad that some songs I've only heard sung by the campfire, and they will forever be just songs in my memory. Not stuff to carry around, whichever way.

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    1. :) I often think about that kind of thing too. Some things weren't documented by recordings or photos but they are still great memories.

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