Last week I ran into a friend whom I had not seen in a while and she, with sheepish tone, apologized to me, “I’m working as a web designer for an e-commerce company that sells trendy fashions.”
This happens regularly. Because I am known as the 100 Thing Challenge guy who thinks American-style consumerism is ruining our lives, friends and family and even strangers I meet feel compelled to apologize for any involvement they have with consumption. It comes with the territory, I suppose. Yet, I would like to take a moment to say why I think stuff is important. Really important.
Everything people do involves stuff. Everything. This is a theme I am focusing on throughout the year. I have a few speaking engagements lined up and I am working on a new book. Everything I say this year is going to include the importance of stuff. Let me summarize here.
Try to think of any activity you do that does not involve stuff? What you are doing right now involves stuff, probably a computer. Are you in a house or a coffee shop or a library? How did you get there, perhaps a bus or car or bike? Were you clothed when you traveled to wherever you are?
I think you get my point. Some theoreticians might say that the most important activities do not require stuff. Thinking. Having a conversation. Making love. Perhaps sometimes no stuff is necessary, though I have never known any person who was magically transported naked, far into the wilderness, by themselves or with another person to think, chat, or share DNA.
The reason that stuff is so important is because it is always there. We know nothing and experience nothing and relate to no one without stuff.