My life would be so much harder without rich people. I wear their throw-away clothes. I drive their throw-away cars. When I had a landlord I ate his throw-away food before he threw it away. He wasn’t actually rich, though, just an impulse spender. For that matter, my life would be so much harder without middle-class impulsive consumers who are in debt up to their ears.
I am starting to feel guilty again. Why should I have it so good? Rich people and big spenders just don’t know what they are missing. They don’t know that old stuff works just as well as, or better than, new stuff. Then again, I am not rich and never have been. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing.
But I do sympathize with the people who throw perfectly good things away. I am not rich, nor a spender and I still wish I could throw away half of my stuff. More and more I am attracted to the monkish freedom of owning nothing. Stuff is a pain. Even perfectly good stuff is a pain if you don’t use it – I mean use it a lot. Actually, it’s a pain even if you do use it a lot. So I don’t buy stuff, as a rule, unless I or my family can eat it or consume it in the near future or unless it is something we think we really must use all the time. Despite this, I still have stuff. Don’t ask me where it comes from. I think some nights it rains stuff while we sleep. Or perhaps I am buying stuff in my sleep.
So I’ve begun to feel less and less guilty about putting things in the landfill. No one lives in the landfill but people do live in my house. A given item, in perfect condition let’s say, but useful to no one and that has already been brought into existence and is taking up space on this earth probably should be burned, but might as well be occupying space in a landfill instead of in my driveway or kitchen.
I recycle it when I can. I burn it when I can. I bury it if I must. (But I don’t keep up.) This stuff does not deserve to live.
– M. Ragazzo