What can be learnt from Daffodils and Pineapples in our journey to save money and work less?


“We don’t need bigger cars or fancier clothes. We need self-respect, identity, community, love, variety, beauty, challenge and a purpose in living that is greater than material accumulation”

Donella Meadows

 

 

Mostly we place high value on stuff that somebody important to us doesn’t have or can’t afford. Isn’t that so? At one point in history people went nuts over Daffodils. Then Daffodils became common place and now most people are too busy to notice flowers of any sort.

At another point folks went bonkers over pineapples. Some were so inspired by the Pineapples in their lives that the fashioned castles and buildings into Pineapple shaped monuments. At that point everyone that was someone had pineapples and the richest people deliberately had pineapples rotting in a prominent place in their living rooms to demonstrate exactly how important there were to any visitor. Now pineapples are available in every grocery store year round and nobody gives a toss about the other yellow fruit (unless you are an orgy type – google it if you dare).

There are moments where we care immensely about ordinary items that everyone has, but not many.

I still consider it a weird world when we panic if our phone falls, but laugh when our friends do.

A meaningful self understanding is that we shop and consume mainly to improve how other people view us. While we conceive of our shopping as enriching our existence, making life more convenient or improving the quality of life (and they may be all true), the ultimate reason is to attain something material that someone else does not have. Thus we propel ourselves in front of them. Why did you buy the 50 inch TV over the 32 inch? Was it your failing eyesight or was it to impress your mates on the next big game day? That self knowledge of who we buy for is sufficient insight to change your own inefficient consumption behaviour. By voicing the question ‘exactly who am I buying this for?’ at point of sale you can nip wasteful expenditure in the bud.

On a deeper level, when your body is fertile soil, will you care for your material possessions? The answer is no as there will be no body and no mind to care. You will not. If you believe in reincarnation then perhaps your experience is important, but your possessions certainly not. If you believe in ‘this is all their is materialism then again when you are dust what you own or don’t own doesn’t matter whatsoever.

Instead of chasing new toys seek out means and ways to become truly intoxicated on life.

Envelope yourself in the experience. Enrich the lives of everyone that crosses your path.

Pay heed to the old advice that who you are matters more what you own.

You can have a more profound impact with an unsolicited act of kindness than adding two more inches to your TV screen.

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