Thursday, January 5, 2017

Credit Card Payment is Due

Yesterday I read an article by a woman whose family lost most of their possessions to a house fire last year. What she had to say was that she, and her family, found that they did not want to replace many of their possessions, that they had found a certain freedom in having less, even to the most mundane: perhaps I can live just fine with three towels.

She found herself to have less anxiety about storing possessions, she spent less time doing laundry, she had more time and more freedom in general to be and do what was most important.

And then there's the credit card notification: Your payment will be due in 10 days. Credit card used to buy possessions and services we THINK we need. We trade in a particular anxiety about a need for a new anxiety about paying the bill for those things we're no longer sure we ever needed to begin with.

There is a lot in modern life this this. The time we spend on emails, texts, internet, entertainment. We lived just fine without all this stuff 20-30-40 years ago. We lived entirely without TV and radio and constant piped-in music 150 years ago. Are our lives really any better for all that we have access to now? Are we really better off having instant access to Wikipedia instead of having to go to the library to look up the things we really wanted/needed to know.

I'm not so sure.

In fact, I'm very sure that most of this is more of a burden than a blessing. We just don't realize it most of the time.

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