BBC Radio Pause for thought – do we really need so much stuff?
Pause for thought – do we really need so much stuff?
As heard on BBC Radio Oxford
My pause for thought is reflecting on all the things around me. Since life changed with the nation going into lock-down we have been living in a different world. Previously at the click of a button or quick pop to the shops we could get pretty much anything we could wish for. Whether that be toilet paper or something more exotic. However, with many business closing in quarantine, times changed. There is no longer this instant gratification and convenience to get your hands on ‘things’ and this has led me to a realisation on many occasions…a thought process where I went from ok I ‘need’ new thing, to…can I get it?, to…do I really need it, all the way to actually, I really can live without it and actually I already have that which would do just as well…or even a full realisation that I just didn’t need it. That is time not used, money not spent and energy saved just from having to really think about the need.
I’m appreciating the value in things around me to a new level. The things I already have. Last month I trimmed a small tree down in the front garden and without thinking threw it in the wheelie bin for the refuge team to take away. But then I realised. That wood, is valuable to me. If I take the time to cut it and store it, in a few weeks I’ll have wood to fuel our little chimenea in the garden. Unable to go out and buy wood we’ve since had cherished fire side evenings burning what I once saw as waste. In modern life it is sometimes too easy to just go out and buy ready to use things, disregarding the waste or whether we really need it.
Maybe I’ve been running life at such a pace I’ve lost my grounding, but with lock-down I’m feeling a new energy from opening my eyes to what I really need. I’ve got by with less stuff but has my quality of life been impacted? If anything, it’s rather uplifting to see I don’t need so much.
It seems this can also relate to the ‘admin’ of life. Many are returning to reduced capacity working environments where the focus is on the essentials, and what is incredible is that in many places, this is not showing huge gaping holes opening up, but instead highlighting that in countless ways the world can go round with less energy. The efficiencies of a reduced team or the forced requirement to re-think how things are done, streamline processes, are leading to less admin and more productivity. The pointless emails or amount spent traveling for a meeting that could easily be done on a video call.
There’s so much inefficiency in the world. So much stuff. So much waste. Chasing things, where actually, lock-down as proven to me that things don’t bring happiness. Experiences and time, connections and friendships, they bring happiness.
A precious commodity in manic modern life.
Thank you for reading my pause for thought as heard on BBC Radio Oxford