I cleaned my bedroom today and was perplexed by the sheer amount of my belongings. I am not one to simply go around and buy things just for the sake of acquiring goods, but I am a keeper, and over the years, the little things I had became many.
So I started questioning myself: do I need all this? The answer was: “Mostly, yes.” Most of what I own is painting and drawing material, books and anything essential to being a student and teacher, or memories.
However, even after I answered the question for myself, something still did not feel quite right. I kept wondering why we surround ourselves with so many items and knick-knacks, as though we never had enough… It is a perplexing issue and there is no clear solution to it. I suppose some people try to fill the emptiness inside of them; others are envious; others still perhaps simply enjoy pretty things and decoration… And things accumulate… If you never get rid of anything you buy, even if you are a reasonable person, it will accumulate and little will inevitably become much.
Then, I remembered some of the quotes by Epictetus that I read yesterday on WordPress:
“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”
“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ”
Perhaps it is these quotes that prompted my reflexion this morning. I do not need more things, for I already have what I need. I have lived away from home with very little and was quite as happy, if not more, as I am today. And I have told myself what I would be – I must now do what I have to do.
That’s why I would like to try and not buy anything new for myself (unless it is absolutely necessary) for a month. It is not about rejecting society and wanting to go out to live in the woods like a hermit. I just want to spend more time appreciating everything I already have, because really, I am content.