For some baffling reason, we have gotten caught up in an insatiable need for more stuff – from clothes, cars, houses, electronic gadgets, toys, furniture and fixtures to new hairdos, pedicures and tummy tucks. We want to possess everything imaginable and never seem to be content anymore with the basics. According to comedian George Carlin, we even need to own stuff to put our stuff into. We like to take our stuff with us wherever we go, and when we get there we have to buy more stuff so we can take it home to be with other stuff!
Our fascination with stuff, however, is not the problem. It is the lifestyle that we must pursue to acquire, maintain and manage our stuff. All of this stuff is the antithesis to a sane, balanced and purposeful life. While we tend to believe that our happiness emanates from our possessions it is, in fact, these same possessions that become the bane and curse to a joyful and meaningful life. According to Elaine St. James, Wise men and women in every major culture throughout history have found that the secret to happiness is not in getting more but in wanting less. Only when we make it our purpose to not make stuff the measure of our contentment, will we truly understand how simply beautiful (and beautifully simple) life can be lived.