Look around you... look familiar? How much of the stuff around you is yours? Did you pay for most of it with the money you earned?
How would you feel without any of it? Say you planned to go on a vacation, one that lasts for the rest of your life. You're going to start all over again, so that you can purify yourself for life, and start anew. What would you bring with you? People have grown very attached to their belongings, and I for one feel like I couldn't live without them. When I look around and think "There's just too much!" I feel overwhelmed...
Now, when I go away from home for a few days, I'm fairly able to bring a reasonable sized suitcase, knowing that wherever I am, I will be provided with everything I need.
But there are some moments where I find myself just hating every material object I lay my eyes on. I picture myself living without the object and contemplate trashing it for eternity. But the idea of trashing a potentially useful object (it must have been useful at some point or else why would I have bought it and not gotten rid of it yet?) sickens me, as I think about the waste I would be responsible for. Wastefulness bothers me just as much as materialism. How ironic.
By that point, I subtly realize in my conscious mind how different both of these opinions are from each other, and I cannot come to a decision within my own mind. Torn in two directions, what do I do? The easiest thing to do, the only tie-breaker: the same thing I've always done. Why change my ways when what I am doing and have been doing seems to be working just fine and pleases everyone else? So I keep almost every material item I've ever owned.
But now I've just acted against my own previously-self-imposed philosophy. My habit of contradicting myself remains ever-present. I complain about the arbitrary rules of the English language, the failures of most political systems, the inefficiencies found in any or all aspects of life, opting instead for a new way of living life. (I am an aquarian after all.)
When will I be able to mix my binary opposite opinions? How will I become the catalyst for change I know I can be when I don't know exactly what is stopping me from changing?
Maybe this is what maturity means:
1. Deciding how you want to be.
2. Attempting to be that way.
3. Realizing either that you have changed or that you are not meant to change.
4. Finally, stopping trying to fix things, and living (whatever that means).
Hopefully, eventually I'll get through these steps. But there's a chance I never will.
Well, my first step will be to attempt to change my culture's addictive materialism. But before that I must see if I can bring myself to change my own hoarding tendencies.