One thing I have never really understood is the importance of aesthetics. It is clear that aesthetics is the lifeblood of our capitalistic economy, but why? I drive twenty year old vans that I pay $500 - $1000. They get me where I am going and run just as good as any car on the highway. True it will not go a hundred miles per hour, but it was never designed to do that anyway. If I want to go four wheeling in the woods or take that bumpy shortcut dirt road I can. So what are a couple new scratches and minor dents? So what if I drive off a cliff and total it. I can get another for what I save on car insurance and interest every six months.. If my $3000 home burns to the ground I have a place to live, If I want to throw a thousand pounds of gravel in the back end I can. If I want to help a neighbor or a friend move I can. Can you do any of these things with that $60,000 Viper?
My point being to me usefulness is so much more important than prettiness. Does a stained cotton T-shirt not cover and keep you as warm as a $200 silk one? Do matching socks keep your feet any warmer in the winter? Do those hundred dollar sneakers keep your feet any drier, than $20 ones? Do designer jeans really fit any better than the $20 ones? So do I wear rags? No actually I have a closet full of $300 dollar suits and nice clothes, that I picked up for pennies on the dollar at yard sales, discount shops, and going out of business sales. My home is full of fair conditioned furniture collected and obtained for less than $1000 total over the years. Do I ever buy new? Of course socks underwear and shoes just have to be personally broken in I do have some standards.
My used computer cost me $350 dollars and I am using it to publish this web page, write a book, keep track of my finances, deliver my email and yes I even play games with it. Would that fancy new $4000 model do any better? Well yes it may but I don't need it. The question here is the difference between wants and needs. Most people run out and buy the newest shiniest, prettiest things they can and as soon as the polish wears off are looking for the next newest shiniest thing. I actually know a woman who has bought three new cars in the last year, not used but new ones... all financed by the evil credit god, all traded in on a whim. I'll bet the banks just love her...
I am currently unemployed. Last year I earned the least I have ever earned in my entire adult life, not even adjusting for inflation. I have the ability to do what I want when I want. Can I fly to Paris for lunch? Of course not , but I don't want to... What I can do, is go for a walk in the woods with my dogs on a warm afternoon. What I can do is watch Television, read books and write. I can surf the internet without giving up my sleep. I know that this year the various governments, which I do not support, because they do not represent me will receive less money from my hard work, even though tax rates are still rising at every level. You probably want to know what I gain from all this saving on life style? Lots of money in the bank? No, I gain freedom and time which is priceless. What price would you pay for contentment and peace of mind? A friend recently pointed out to me that the happiest people she ever met weren't the rich fat cats but the homeless people who live under the bridges and the stars..
Some people point out that I and those who think like me need consumerism to provide us with our cheap lifestyles... Ah and they are so right, so if you want to follow that dream to that non-existent rainbow go for it. Just don't be too hard on that van because I like them to run well...
So what can you do to find a more content lifestyle for yourself?
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