Monday, September 6, 2010

Is it time to shed?

 Why do humans hang on to so much STUFF?

And I suppose I don't mean just ANY humans, but those of us in "western society." What is is about our culture that has caused us to collect?

Sedentism, which came about mainly through agriculture and cultivation of plants, is certainly part of the problem. Hunter-gatherers tended to be nomadic, leading to less collection of materials. If a large item were collected it had better be useful - and probably would be used up completely prior to any move. Storage was certainly an option, but there was no guarantee you would ever get back to the same location and retrieve the items (and, generally speaking, these items were usually food or food collection related, rather than junk that we collect today).

But then, how did we start placing so much value on things that have nothing to do with basic necessities - such as food, water, and shelter? We are entrenched in the culture of hierarchical, capitalist society. Our "necessities" have changed somewhat. Survival without money is difficult. Shelter must be purchased. In most cases, food must be purchased. Therefore, we must have jobs. Therefore, most of us must use technology. And on and on and on.

The question is, however, how much of this stuff do we really NEED? Can I be happy with less stuff? Would I be happier with fewer things? I'm going to go out on a limb and say ABSOLUTELY.

Do you know how often I dream of losing most of my things? Often. I think about it at least five times everyday. I'm sure I'm underestimating.

What about you? Can you live with less stuff? Will you? Check out The Shed Project over at and start shedding.

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