African Women Voices

Surplus: Too Much Stuff Will Kill You

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Movie line. Quite repetitive. Almost boring. But it works. It gives you the feeling something’s actually going to change.

Today is not the first day of the rest of my life. It’s rather a one-like-another day of the week. But differently from yesterday, today I realised I walk daily among an uncountable number of useless items.

Is something I have conceived for some time; why do I need:

  • Six different types of pyjamas; when there are seven days, four seasons and a working washing machine?
  • A car; when I can cycle, use the train, bus and occasionally hire a vehicle?
  • 12 well-shaped knives; when my trustworthy Chinese-style knife can cut metal as far as I know?

I blame this ancient macho society for letting women think they need to compete for the largest closet: dozens skirts, shoes, blouses, bras … To look pretty.

Objects are beautiful. They make you feel good (supposedly).

You own something at the point you hardly let it go; like that one torn item from the high school.


Economists would suggest the surplus defines how much money you have; surplus is available to whom can afford it. Few of us would ask to live with 100 items, not one more.

In the room I’m in right now, there are far more than 100 objects;  and none of them is vital.

Hundreds object. If you could choose hundred objects you want to live with, what would they be?

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This entry was posted on 3 August 2011 by in Comment, Green Living and tagged , , .

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