Williams: Stuff, Stuff, More Stuff

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Williams: Stuff, Stuff, More Stuff

By Brook Williams

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With this upcoming holiday — the notorious Black Friday — people are getting their shopping routes ready for early Friday morning. Black Friday has been one of the most loved holidays for Americans due to the amount of discounted things they can walk away with. What this means for the common household is that it’ll be accumulating more stuff on top of the already overwhelming amount of stuff they already own, most of which is probably unnecessary. With that, I’d like to emphasize that people need to be more aware of what they spend their money on and fill their houses with.

From a business standpoint, Black Friday is a brilliant opportunity to draw in customers and make money. And for the regular consumer, Black Friday is an exciting opportunity to satisfy their bad shopping habits and obtain more stuff without feeling too guilty. Now, I wish I could say that I don’t feel the urge to embark on a Black Friday shopping spree, but the tradition seems to have been engrained in my soul. I mean, you can find clothes for under $20 and TVs for under $200, which seems ludicrous to most people. But although these deals are appealing, it becomes the question of whether I really even need these things. For the most part the answer is no. The people willing to stand out in the cold and wait in line for a store to open after Thanksgiving dinner typically don’t need that new flat screen TV. Realistically, we don’t need any of these items, but we still purchase them in hopes that they will entertain or satisfy us for a while until we feel the urge to buy again.

We buy a house with garages for our vehicles, then eventually find our cars being parked on the street so we have space to store our stuff. Then we pay monthly for a storage unit to put away more of our stuff. We purchase sheds to take up space in our backyards to store yet more stuff. We even dedicate entire rooms in our houses to store our stuff. In a way, many average Americans could be considered hoarders by definition: “A supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation, future use, etc.” Though most would probably consider hoarding a mental state worthy of concern.

I fall victim to this agenda. I keep old things to later cherish but wind up forgetting about them. Maybe I am simply keeping these things for comfort, which is what hoarders do. Regardless, many Americans do this, and the habit can reach a point where it negatively affects your life.

“If you have so much stuff that it drags you into the past or pulls you into the future, you can’t live in the present.” States Kathleen Doheny on WebMD. In her article, she suggests that accumulating clutter and more stuff can make you gain weight, have an unclear mind, become depressed and manifest other mental and physical issues.

What’s ironic about Black Friday is that we spend the day before being grateful for everything we have. Then, as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over people forget their families to run to the shopping center, or open up their laptop to grab those online deals. It needs to be impressed on the public that valuing “stuff” is never going to fully satisfy you. If anything it might even burden you in the end. This holiday season, try to be more self-aware regarding your shopping habits and be sure that you have enough space for the things you’re purchasing while taking time to focus on the things that really matter.

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