The more you own, the more owns you.
The consumerist dream
In America the propaganda is this:
You must own everything.
The American dream as owning your own car, owning your own home, and continually purchasing more shit.
My thought: perhaps it is better to lease, rent, or purchase refurbished whenever possible. Why? Let me outline some of my thoughts:
The upside of renting or leasing
- I would never want to own a home. Why? The stress associated with paying taxes, fixing it, maintaining it. I would be a trillion times happier living in an Airbnb or hotel. Probably one of the best experiences of my life was living in a hotel for around 3 months while in Saigon— the ultimate zen living experience (no worries, no cares, no concerns, no stress).
- Anti car ownership: I haven’t bought a car since I was 19 years old (1990 Mazda Miata while in college). In today’s world, taking Uber/Lyft is a trillion times more convenient for transit (no dealing with parking, insurance, filling up gas, etc). I still appreciate cars for their design, but I enjoy them more like sculpture rather than something I really want to own. And for my future Lamborghini, perhaps I will just lease or rent it (I’m sure I will tire of it in about 3 months).
What is good to own?
Good to own your laptop (maxed out MacBook Pro, refurbished). Why? It’s probably the most important tool in your entrepreneurial arsenal. I love my iPad Pro, but ultimately the iPad isn’t as essential as a strong laptop.
You probably want to own the few clothes you wear everyday. But for superfluous dressy clothes, probably better to use a service like “Rent the runway”. Or if you need a tuxedo, just rent it for events.
Our life is on lease
Nothing is meant to last forever, nor will it last forever. Our lives are the same — we are simply “leasing”our time here on planet earth. Realize that no matter how much gold, possessions, or fame you possess while you’re alive — you cannot take it with you once you die. Better to be poor while you’re still alive than to own all the gold in the world while in hades.
Ownership as a distraction
I think shopping and desiring to buy new stuff is a massive distraction. The ultimate goal is artistic creation. Buying new clothes won’t help you be more artistically motivated. Buying a new car won’t help you become more artistically creative. Having more money, power, or influence won’t inspire you to make more art.
My ideal life
- Living in Airbnb, fully furnished studio, or hotel. As little concern maintaining my living quarters.
- Living in a city which allows me to walk much, photograph much, and think much.
Ownership ties us down.
The more things we own, the more we are owned.
Less is better:
- The Will to Simplicity
- ZEN PHOTO. To Improve Your Life, Subtract the Superfluous from Your Life
- Same But Different
- The Zen of Street Photography
- Zen Photography
- Walking Meditation in Street Photography
- How to Be a Zen Street Photographer
- The Less You Have, the More You Have
- Prune Excess
- Prune in Order to Grow
- Zen in the Art of Street Photography
- The 7 Aesthetics of Zen Art For Photographers
- 15 (More) Lessons Taoism Has Taught Me About Street Photography
- How to Find Tranquility in Your Photography
- How to Find Zen in Street Photography
- Why Less is More in Street Photography (and Life)
- Why You Should Shoot with One Camera and One Lens
- 5 Essentialist Tips in Street Photography
- 10 Principles of Good Street Photography
- Deep Focus
- Follow Your Intuition
- Less, But Better
- Seek Emptiness
- Wonderment & Awe