Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Things That Shouldn’t Impress Us Anymore

Recently I came across a great article from Joshua Becker (read it here) which captured a set of ideas that had been swirling around my head for a while.  The article was called 7 things that shouldn’t impress us anymore.  It talked about status symbols and how they shouldn’t be held up to such a high importance for us.

organizational-debtI think what struck me about most of the list is that ironic thing about the brand name of your clothing, big diamond rings, fancy cars and a big house is that most folks who these things are important to, can’t afford them.  Most – read 90% of Americans – folks achieve these status symbols through accruing debt.  I have a distinct memory of my neighbors who were very concerned with the things on Joshua’s list, one day fell on hard times.

The house of card fell very fast for them, their cars were taken because they were on lease, the home ended up in short sale and my neighbors lamented to me about all the credit card debt calls they got.  While this is just one story about a neighbor, it is really the story for many people today.   The truth is the average American household carries $15,762 (source) and 76% of Americans live pay check to pay check (source).

What is more, conspicuous consumption shouldn’t not impress us any more, but it should evoke a very different reaction – sadness or empathy – because it is almost always done on the back of debt.  People are extending themselves in ways that has been shown to break up marriages, bring massive amounts of stress and leave people in a hole they often can’t get out of.

Think about it, not only should they not impress us, but depress us.  What does it say about the status of our culture when people are willing to take on crippling debt just to impress a stranger?

Obviously I’m preaching to the choir here, tiny house folks focus on small spaces to get out of debt, we re-evaluate our spending choices and have taken steps to shed our consumer culture.  Inherently having nice things isn’t bad, even having brand names, nice cars etc isn’t a bad thing; we just need to know the why behind all of it.  The trap is when people say “that’s what I thought I was ‘supposed’ to do.”

Live your life with intention, with purpose behind each decision, each choice.  That choice could be living in a tiny house or it could be a 1,200 square foot house with a fancy car.

Your Turn!

  • What things do you think we shouldn’t be impressed about anymore?

 

8 Comments
  1. Pretty much anything based purely on high cost for the jealousy factor. I’m fine with people having whatever they want, if they can afford it, and can live with themselves having it (as opposed to, say donating to charities). If they can do both, great!

  2. Wish I had realized this when I was much younger. Maybe I will get it next time around.

  3. I’m always shocked at how fancy new construction and reno flips are these days. Formerly luxury finishes are now “normal”. When did it suddenly become absolutely necessary to have expensive imported tile backsplashes and granite counter tops? Sure, if you can afford it, but why add things like this to just about every house or apartment, moving them firmly out of the reasonably priced zone? Many “starter houses” now seem to be more opulent than some upper scale houses used to be. Many people seem to want to start at the top and are not content to gradually work their way towards it (if that’s where they really want to go) as they can afford things. Short term gain can cause long term pain and some of that stuff can fall apart before you’ve finished paying for it.

  4. We should stop being impressed by the “importance” of your job. It is more important to Live Simply without trying to impress anyone.

  5. People who justify poor decisions by saying “I know what I want” like that’s a good thing. I know what I want, too. I also know what I can afford.

  6. This is the most important website in our World.

    You are incredible and beautiful.

    Love Always First

  7. A small house would make my diamond look bigger by comparison.

  8. In the UK we call it “keeping up with the Joneses”. Not sure why it’s Jones except it’s quite a common name, especially in Wales.

    Just like the US we see people wanting more and more, but I’m not sure those with more possessions are happier than those of us who live a simpler life.

    As builders we encourage our customers to extend where possible rather than move, or to build a tiny house in their garden. We call them garden buildings! The cost of moving house is astronomical here with taxes and legal costs. It’s about making the most of what you have isn’t it, rather than acquiring more possessions that clutter your life and get you into debt?

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