Thinking About Materialism

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Thinking About Materialism

In the past few years, Japanese author Marie Kondo has authored numerous worldwide bestselling books, like Spark Joy and Life-Changing Magic: A Journal. These books present Kondo’s multi-step method of tidying up and de-cluttering your space, which have amassed her a huge and loyal fan-base who hang on every word she writes.

“KonMari” mania has recently reached dizzying heights in the last month as Netflix has released its first season of “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” In this show, Kondo travels to American homes, where she helps individuals and families whose lives have become messes due to the unmanageable piles of clothes, books, baseball cards, and Nutcracker statutes that have grown throughout their homes.

If you have binge-watched episodes of Kondo’s show like so many others, you may feel inspired to think about materialism. Indeed, the common theme from family to family in the show is that they have piles of possessions that they have not touched or thought about in years. In fact, many of the possessions that are often discovered in the show still have their price tags on!

Part of the appeal of Kondo’s show is that the people she is helping are not that different than the audience. Think about it. Is your home overly cluttered? From where you are sitting, take a look around and see if there is anything that you haven’t touched in at least two years. Maybe there are even items in your room that you have never used or worn?

We are all guilty of falling into the trap of “retail therapy” or of bargain hunting. However, maybe it is time to be inspired to not only de-clutter our homes, but to also think about the impact of materialism. Is our overspending and attention to things we don’t need distracting us from things that matter? Are we teaching our children to consume as a means of coping? Are piles of bargain goods making our lives better? The answers to these questions are not black and white—or a matter of right and wrong—but do spark interesting conversations as we de-clutter our lives.

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