Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm not sure I like the idea of owning things.

I was talking with Belinda the other day about cars and houses and other significant things that people purchase.  The single object of greatest monetary value that I own is a bicycle, and it was worth less than $500 when I bought it several years ago.  I don't own the car I drive.  I had a laptop for a while that was pretty valuable, but now it's over 5 years old and doesn't turn on.

Why don't I like to own things?  I think there are two angles I could answer that from.

The first is noble.  I'm in rebellion against the materialism of our culture.  I want to live as simply as possible.  I don't plan to have a car when I move to Detroit.  If I have a computer it will probably be the old desktop that I'm typing on now that I got for free.  The only major thing I might own a part of would be a house.  But I think there is something different about owning something as a community than owning it as an individual.  I prefer my closet to be bare than overflowing with extra clothes.  The less things I own the more free I am (not only from the stranglehold of materialism, but also to relocate at a moments notice).  I'm thinking about stuff more recently becuase I do have to move everything I want to own to Detroit soon.  

But the other angle is probably just sinful.  I think I'm afraid of responsibility.  Owning stuff requires me to be responsible for it. Now, I'm generally a pretty responsible guy.  I always got the "conscientious student" tag from my teachers in elementary and middle school.  I take care of my space.  But there's still some part of me that is apprehensive about the increase of independence that I'm about to transition through.  And it comes out through this uncertainty of ownership.

Having more things to be responsible for is neither good nor bad.

God, help me to trust you.


Aaron said...

I think you have a good point. There is a large freedom from the ties of society when you own less. For myself I fined I am moor fulfilled when I do not have exes in my life. It is also satisfying when what I do own is used to exhaustion. I will freely admit that I do not hold myself to as lofty of a standard as Matt but do prefer things well used and loved.

Igor said...

I think that the biggest problem with society today, in a material sense, is being owned or possessed by the things you own. Some days I feel like I may have a lot of clothing, or I collect too many pez dispensers but what makes me feel comfortable with that is, I can give it up. I don't feel attached to my possessions. I don't buy many things, and I do like to clean out my closet for Big Brother every year. I don't believe I feel that the more I give up the freer I feel. I feel free now.