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On Important Things

From looking at the average person in the US, it's clear that buying things is important. From cars to seasonal decorations, advertisements are constantly asking us to buy as many things as we can. The reason there are so many advertisements is because so many people want to buy things. Everyone seems to have a hole in their pocket, perpetually wanting to purchase the next thing that catches their eye. Aren't the things we have already enough? The two possessions that are most important are the body and the mind and we usually take them for granted. The body and mind are too often overlooked and taken advantage of.

What's more important: the upkeep or your car or the upkeep of your body? Most people would say that the upkeep of both is important but say that the body is more important than the car. That all would be said right before they hit the all you can eat buffet and polish off the last soda in the twenty four pack. In life we are given one body. That one body is ours no matter what. Cars, on the other hand, are temporary. I'll drive my 2012 Jetta for a while then get a new car when it stops working. My body will be mine until I die, there is no replacement body waiting for me after I'm done with this one. When looking at it like this, I see no reason not to treat my body as well as possible. From eating clean to getting adequate exercise daily to sleeping enough, the body needs constant upkeep in order to stay healthy. We need to make time to perform these actions.

Everything I said about the body, also applies for the mind too. As much as the body is overlooked, the mind is even more overlooked. I read somewhere long ago that the average person doesn't read a single book a year after they get out of school. Without reading, learning, or working it somehow, the mind becomes weak. It needs stimulation just like the body does. Critical thinking skills evaporate when not used. It's amazing to think about how averse most people are to thinking and learning new things. The benefits of a sharp mind are everywhere.

The more physical stuff we have, the more clutter we have. There's a line from the 1999 movie, Fight Club, that speaks to this idea. Tyler Durdan says: "The things you own end up owning you." I believe this idea is true. The more things we have the more obligations we have for spending time with each of those things. Each thing requires some form of upkeep. Houses require cleaning and maintenance, so do vehicles and pretty much every other thing we can buy. Through minimizing the things we have, we can simplify our lives and free up more time to take care of ourselves.

I'm not a strict believer in pure minimalism. Having some things can improve our lives, but I do believe in minimizing the number of things we have, to a point. Through improving the body and mind, and spending the majority of the time working on them, there is little need to buy the next gadget that comes out or a fancy car to impress everybody. Through spending time on the body and working it hard, it becomes equivalent to a Ferrari. Building up the mind and using it to think of new ideas can replace the need for the next iPhone or similar technology. Rather than buy new things, enjoy time with the ones you have.

Published on 4/18/2016 3:45:58 PM

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