In praise of pride in your own things.
I can say I’m the biggest sucker for consumer goods. I am extremely difficult to please myself with any consumer things I buy. No matter how good my devices (laptop, tablet, phone), clothes (shoes, outfits), and tools (camera, etc), it never feels good enough.
But what has actually helped me gain more satisfaction and pride in my things?
Things which I created myself, designed myself, or very uncommon solutions to normal problems.
- Pride in RICOH GR III x ERIC KIM NECK STRAP: I never was satisfied with any camera straps until I finally designed and produced my own with Cindy (HAPTIC INDUSTRIES). Also pride in RICOH GR III, because it is a “boutique” and unique camera (nobody knows what it is, as it isn’t a Canon, Nikon, etc). Also it isn’t that expensive.
- Pride in leather goods: I personally love leather goods because they wear beautifully (patina) with you. All the leather goods I own (co-created with CINDY x HAPTIC) bring me immense pride and satisfaction, because I know they each are one of a kind, unique, and knowing that I fashioned it (designed it, and also through my own use of it).
- Pride in custom headphones: I love music, and as much as I like the Apple AirPods (shout out to my buddy Anthony), I much prefer my custom in ear monitor headphones I bought at a specialty audiophile store in Saigon. They’re purple with gold flake — hyper rare and unique. Whenever I am wearing AirPods and I see everyone else with them, I feel lame. So perhaps there is some pride in owning or using things which are different from others.
- Pride in what I don’t do or own: Pride in not owning a car, pride in not using social media, pride in not following politics or the news, etc. Perhaps one of the best ways to “show off” is to flex your minimalism or zen. Even though flexing your minimalism is vain, it’s a better flex than flexing how rich you are or how much stuff you own. Flexing a simple lifestyle seems more virtuous than flexing a complicated lifestyle.