The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Do We Own Our Stuff, Or Does Our Stuff Own Us?

Being freed from being owned is a form of liberation with many manifestations.

The frenzied acquisition of more stuff is supposed to be an unalloyed good: good for "growth," good for the consumer who presumably benefits from more stuff and good for governments collecting taxes on the purchase of all the stuff.
But the frenzy to acquire more stuff raises a question: do we own our stuff, or does our stuff own us? I think the answer is clear: our stuff owns us, not the other way around.

Everything we own demands its pound of flesh in one way or another: space must be found for it amid the clutter of stuff we already own, it must be programmed, recharged, maintained, dusted, moved, etc.

The only way to lighten the burden of ownership is to get rid of stuff rather than buy more stuff. The only way to stop being owned is to is get rid of the stuff that owns us.

I propose a new holiday event, Gold Sunday: this is the day everyone hauls all the stuff they "own" that is a burden to a central location and dumps it in a free-for-all. Whatever is left after the freeters have picked through the pile is carted to the recycling yard and whatever's left after that culling is taken to the dump.


Anonymous said...

About once a month I put a bunch of stuff out in my yard and put a "free" sign on it.It's never anything that needs to be hauled off to the dump.It's always good quality stuff that someone else may need.That practice keeps me from accumulating too much and makes me feel good.

Anonymous said...

Where I'm from Arlington VA "curb alerts" are and have been for many years popular.
If something is unwanted people do like 8:38 does. Some even take it a step more, putting Curb Alert signs on the main roads directing people to where the things can be found. It's an unwritten rule that if something like say a coffee maker isn't in working condition then you throw that away. Now they are advertising the curb alerts on Craigslist and other social media.

Anonymous said...

8:54-I live in Salisbury as you may have guessed from my earlier comment.That curb alert concept is an excellent idea.It hasn't yet found it's way here
(that I know of),but hopefully will.

Anonymous said...

We don't own our stuff. The government does. That's why we have to pay taxes, fees, and licenses on it. Try not paying property tax and see who takes their property back. Or fail to register your vehicle, and see what happens when you drive. Heck, they even want to tax the sale of used stuff, even though it was already taxed when purchased new.