The rogue urge for ownership

A challenge to minimalism is that rogue compulsion still seeking to buy things, when the rest of me is not looking.

Vacation home, boat, airplane:  the rogue compulsion would love to own all of these, even though it can be shown in seconds, on a spreadsheet, that renting is vastly cheaper.

Forget for a moment whether you or I can afford those — that’s not the point. In fact, the rogue is hardest to control with the most affordable things. Low price (or high income) makes it even easier to momentarily forget the various non-cash costs of ownership, the mental bandwidth, the maintenance time, the clutter, the loss of aesthetics.

There is no doubt Darwinian logic here.  We are clearly evolved from apes that survived jungle privation by saving torn t-shirts and yellowed newspapers.

Yet though I know this, the rogue persists, an evolutionary leftover, a mental appendix, uselessly urging me to accumulate junk, a squirrel gathering inedible nuts for a winter that will never come.

I let my guard down for just a moment, and suddenly find I’ve acquired yet another  free t-shirt, when I hardly ever wear t-shirts.  Or bought another physical book, after pledging years ago to use Kindle whenever possible.

I resort to desperate mental aikido to trick the rogue compulsion into acquiescence.  “If you buy something, you must sell something similar.”  Or, “just to be sure, let’s wait till tomorrow before buying.”  Or, “maybe there is something better you haven’t found yet.”

These keep my rogue at bay, but it persists, waiting for the next opportunity.

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