We’ve been told our “wants” are “needs”

I was listening to a Mad Fientist podcast episode and he was discussing with his guest about how we’ve been convinced that our “wants” are “needs”.

Our entire lives, we’re bombarded with advertising that is trying to convince us that we need things. That we need stuff to fill the spaces in our lives. We need a bigger TV. We need a new couch. We need new bedroom furniture. We need a new car. We need the latest toys for our kids. We need to put the kids in private school. We need to live in the bigger house.

But really we just want those things. Your TV will last a little longer. Your couch Is a little lumpy, but still comfortable. If you get rid of some of those clothes you “needed” your bedroom furniture will still work. Ask around for used toys from other parents with kids a little older than yours. Public schools are usually pretty good, but maybe you need to get a tutor for a little extra help from time to time. Do you really need all that extra space in your house?

I like stuff. Getting rid of things is hard for me, but I’m trying. I’ve taken a lot of old clothes that I don’t wear or that don’t fit to Goodwill. I’ve sold a few things on Craigslist. But as I look around my apartment, there’s still just a bunch of crap everywhere. Every time I move I hate how much I have to pack and unpack.

I spend a lot of time in the “I might need this one day” lifestyle when I look at the things I own. It’s as dangerous as the “I need that” desires that we learn in the earliest days of childhood. It keeps a bunch of things in my life that I don’t really need sitting around.

Getting out of this way of living is tough. I want to pretend to be a minimalist, but I’m not. Not even a casual, reluctant minimalist. Maybe one day. I keep thinking about moving out of my two bedroom apartment and into an RV. But could I really move out of several hundred square feet into just a couple hundred square feet or less?

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