I’ve been driving a box van lately and it is a very interesting process how you have this inner sense of where the extremities of the van are, apparently the mind extends your ‘body image’ so that it becomes you, though being a box van I find this harder than if it had sloping shoulders like the Mercedes Sprinter I used to drive for our Farm Fresh Express food business.
I am not quite sure how I made this leap, but I was asked about whether I had bought all the presents I wanted to buy for Christmas gifts and initially felt really guilty being such a scrooge as to buy, well, just one. Then driving the van came into my head, and I realised that the connection was about how things you possess eventually become internalised, they become a part of you, and the more you possess the bigger you get, but also the less manoeuvrable, in mind and spirit. That’s connected to the recent discovery of many people who are truly huge hoarders, they must be so connected to their possessions that they can give nothing away, or even sell it.
I’m pretty minimalist in my possessions now, but the hardest is books, maybe down to 200 or so, which given my Kindle is really odd.
So I realise how it feels, I just don’t like that feeling when it comes to furniture and clothes and stuff. With the end of the world now put off till the next doom-monger predicts some new date it seems sensible to work on how we shift away from being possessed by our possessions, the world cannot afford that kind of consumption. We need to challenge the idea that Christmas is about giving things to each other and encourage the idea that all we should give is our love and friendship to each other, we don’t need presents to do that and we don’t even need Christmas cards or any other kind of Festive Season cards. We need to encourage the understanding that we are working to possess things which will possess us, which has got to be crazy and certainly is not healthy.
So, this Christmas, make a resolution, for the year ahead, your mission is to reduce you possessions, by at least 10% a year, give them to Charity shops, give them to friends, but mostly, stop buying, stop being possessed, give your time and friendship freely, that is the best gift you can give.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.