I read this and I think
every one should read to know .
..........A real eye
The other day I was walking down the street with my
family, where a couple of people were handing out coupons for free premium ice
cream. I like ice cream. My two year old son certainly does. I knew the retail
value for this ice cream was about $6 per coupon, and here they were giving it
away. It was like free money. How could I not take it?
BUT, we were about to go
home and feed our son; the ice cream would have likely killed his appetite and
amped him up before bed. My wife and I had just finished eating dinner, and we
probably did n’t need to put a dollop of sugary-frozen-cream on top of the
not-super-healthy meal we had just eaten. Taking the free ice cream would have
meant compromising my son’s appetite and my own and wife’s health and
sanity. The ice cream might have been free, but it had costs.
Just as free food is the enemy of the health
conscious, free stuff is the enemy of the minimalist. Here’s how it
works: Let’s say that someone gives you a nice tent. In the years past,
you borrowed a tent for the three or so times a decade you backpacked. You
never needed your own. But now you have the opportunity to own
one (for free!)–one whose retail value you happen to know is around $500.
The tent takes on that monetary value, even though it’s a sum you did
not–nor would have ever–paid. You have a hard time refusing it. If you take it,
you might have a hard time getting rid of it. It’s like throwing away $500.
But do you really need it? Was it so bad borrowing a tent,
even one of those with the splintered fiberglass poles? Do the advantages of
ownership outweigh the hidden costs–the clutter it creates, the volume of
storage it occupies? What seems like a free and benign object, when looked at
as an aggregate of a larger mass of possessions, becomes a creator of chaos and
clutter. As Dave Bruno so eloquently put it, “Stuff is not passive. Stuff
wants your time, attention, allegiance.”
One mental hurdle with free stuff and minimal
living is that minimalists, or people who are drawn to the idea, tend to
prize thrift and abhor waste. This is why we don’t actively invite
stuff into our lives that we won’t use or use enough in the first place. So
refusing free stuff can feel like making an active choice to waste resources–even
when the net effect of accepting the stuff is inconsistent with our desire to
simplify our lives.
If you have a hard time refusing free stuff or
getting rid of stuff you got for free, here are a few things to think
about either before or after you receive that stuff:
accepting free stuff, ask yourself “Is this something I’d buy?”Chances are if you were
n’t willing to buy it (even if the sum you’d spend was small) you probably
don’t need it.
the free stuff’s real value to you. A Lamborghini Aventador costs somewhere in the ballpark of $500K,
the same amount you’d pay for a one bedroom apartment in Manhattan or a two
bedroom in Seattle or mansion in Indianapolis. For many the Lamborghini
would be a liability and thus be worthless. For some, living in NYC is a
nightmare…and so on. Everything has a different value relative to the
circumstances and values of different people–and these values are only loosely
associated with the price. If the free stuff is valuable–it’s something
that will likely be used and appreciated–take it, use it,
appreciate it. But if free stuff is not valuable–even if it’s worth a lot
to other people–don’t take it.
you’ll use it, that does n’t mean it’s necessary to bring into your life. Let’s say someone offers you a free pasta maker. You
use it a few times a year. You love the pasta it makes. But you love having a
clutter free kitchen too, and buying fresh pasta or hand-cutting your own works
too. There are many useful, lovely and practical things you don’t need. Keep
this in mind when offered one of those things for free. Most times, when
deliberating whether to take a free thing (or purchase something for that
matter), the right answer is no.