You buy furniture. You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. – Fight Club
Do you get restless when you’re not online? Do you think about civilian victims in Iraq? What car do you own and did you spend your summer vacation on Île St.-Paul lately?
I wonder quite often about my way of living and what path do I want to go. We in the West are focused on things. We buy them so that they can make our lives easier. Our lives become easier, but we get dependent on things and we almost cannot function properly without them. Eventually, many of us are controlled by “our” things. Our things could rightfully call us “theirs”. Here’s my humble thought and contribution to the map of people’s choice of living. I divided them roughly into four groups:
Materialist – a person who cares only for materialistic things. He buys cars, plays video games, pursues his career. This person is not socially aware person, does not care what is happening in the society or in the world. A materialist can have any political or religious preference.
Semi-Materialist is a person who lives with materialism around him. He is surrounded and dependent on things, but from time to time he desires to escape materialism. This could be sporadic vacations to distant and less known destinations.
Semi-Spiritual Materialist is aware of spirituality and generally seeks to abandon materialism, but needs tools like books, art, talismans in order to achieve it. He lives minimalistically (or semi ditto).
Spiritual Materialist – a person who lives completely without any things, except clothes, food and such. Spiritual materialist, does not care for things, and they do not take any part of his life. He does not have any books, no internet, no cars, nothing that affects his life. This person finds his security, his secret haven inside his mind, completely separated of extern objects.
There are maybe more groups of people, but they are most likely to be found somewhere in the grey zone between these four of them. I, personally, find myself somewhere in the zone of the damned, between Materialism and Semi-Materialism. I strive to live more spiritually, to care and actively doing something for Africa, but things that own me just can’t let me go. But I am fighting… fighting harder and harder and who knows – maybe one day I will take control over the things that control me.