Category: hoarding

As Good As It Gets?


Remember, you’ll make smarter choices if you can believe deep-down that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

One set of voices croons “Things are unfolding exactly as planned. All this was designed by a superior intelligence with our best interests in mind. Even if we can’t understand what’s happening and why, that doesn’t mean that it’s not all coming together as it should.”

Of course you’re free to worry and fret if that’s what you want to do. Your reaction to what’s coming down will not affect the way these events unfold. “It is what it is.”

We could even dare to assume that though some things aren’t perfect yet, they’re on their way to becoming just that. In the long run, it won’t matter how long it takes for them to reach perfection, because the pains of the struggle will be forgotten in face of the bliss. As the Apostle Paul said “I reckon that our present sufferings do not compare with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

All this change could be seen as exciting. If you ever complained of being bored, consider that now your prayers have been answered. There’s a good chance that unprecedented upheavals are in the works. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

On the other hand, you could also take omens and portents quite seriously and begin practicing rigorous self-quarantine and stockpiling whatever you fear you might run out of while you’re holed away. By the way, how will you know when it’s time to emerge from your bunker? Will someone sound an “all clear” or will you just notice the ominous silence?

There’s a good chance that what you’ve assumed to be true about human nature in general has been a whitewash, a convenient lie. Most people are as stupid as they are cowardly. Most people would gladly stab you in the back as they pick your pocket. If someone they admire tells them to do so, they’re capable of the worst sort of treachery and will feel not a shred of remorse if caught.

It’s usually more convenient not to focus on these unpleasant truths, but avoidance doesn’t make them any less true.

It’s more fun to celebrate minor victories than it is to get to the bottom of what needs to be fixed and then scrape your knuckles trying out various fixes.

Besides, most plans are simply arrogance. Desires come and go, seemingly important at the time but in retrospect, less so. In one ear and out the other. Surprising beauty appears unexpectedly and then vanishes without warning. At first, names and dates seem momentous, but ultimately prove they aren’t. Most ambitions are merely nurtured grudges and planned disappointments. Again, they come and go seemingly of their own volition.


Objects vs. Actions

russian radio

Hoping to be able to do something is a more noble goal than hoping to own something. Objects don’t thrill in the long run. Tools enable actions, and actions can often be generous and include others, which diminishes loneliness. Objects make lousy friends.

I have an OK electric piano. I know there are better ones out there, but I don’t think buying a better one would substantially change my life for the better. Learning to play the piano better would. The piano I already have would be up to that task. But would I do the work?

Buying things online is so easy you don’t even have to pull yourself away from your computer. I can imagine an object and thanks to Amazon Prime, it could appear on my doorstep in a twenty four hours! Is this progress?

Most of the time the answer is “not really.” It’s just shopping, and I already know what that feels like.

The reason it’s easier to put your hope on a physical object is because we’ve had a lot of help with that from the advertising industry. Actions are complicated and must take into account many variables. Objects sit on a shelf until they are sold. All the seller has to do is to convince the buyer that owning this object will solve some problem. Usually, all it takes is suggesting there is a problem and this object is that problem’s solution.

Maybe you don’t get asked out of dates because you have bad breath. Listerine in the cure. Your best friends know this, but they’re too delicate to say it to your face. Your friends who sell Listerine share no such compunction. After all, they want you to be happy!

By All Means, Stop Shopping



If you leave room in your life for something new, it will arrive. If you make space, it will fill with what might end up inspiring and delighting you. But if you don’t leave room or make space, nothing new will barge in and displace what’s already there.

Most people who practice any form of recreational shopping are drowning in stuff. If you are an Amazon prime member, I can guarantee that you are paying for and storing way too many things. Recent purchases and old are crowding you. You mutter “I’ve got to get organized” and then click on a new item that can be delivered within twenty four hours. When you come home from work, purchases you’ve forgotten you made are waiting for you on your front porch.

There is no discontent like that which comes from self-inflicted behaviors you refuse to recognize. You know you’re not happy but you don’t know why. You look around for someone to blame, but there’s no clear culprit.



an audio clip of me reading this