Living Simply with Attitude

buy_the_world.jpgIs life really all about the things we buy, the things we wear, the things we own?

We might say no but do our actions and attitudes say something quite different?

We might like to quote Matthew saying, And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” but are we just kidding ourselves? Are we still just running after the same things that everyone else is?

Life Skills Trainer, Jill Bonanno, joined me this morning on 98.5 Sonshine FM for our regular Friday morning radio segment, Simply Living. Our topic today was Simply Living with Attitude but we seemed to cover quite a range of things.

We touched on Valentine’s Day before moving onto some listener feedback. That led us to reviewing our segment on TV from a couple of weeks back. Far from being an attack on television, we simply discussed how we can be in control of television and other technologies rather than letting technology controlling us.

Have you ever thought of setting aside a day each week where you unplug? Unplug the phone, the TV, the computer and all the gadgets that can so easily soak up our time. Spend the day reading, walking, learning, buliding relationships. If you shudder at the thought, that might be an indication of how much of a hold technology has over you.

Our chat turned to the destructive way that we can try to keep up with those around us in our spending habits and lifestyles instead of deciding on a life that lets us develop into the people we were created to become.

If you’d like to hear some of the ways we can claim back our lives just use the audio player at the bottom of this post to listen to this morning’s segment.

I’d love to read your comments on how you control the ‘stuff’ in your life rather than letting it control you.

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Shiny Things

nokia.jpgIt’s often far too easy to buy into the whole consumerism lie. It’s all around us and it’s so tempting to let ourselves start justifying the purchase of things we really don’t need.

I’ve mentioned before that my mobile phone is nothing special. It makes calls, it takes calls, it sends text messages. That’s all I really need a phone to do. It’s got no camera, no bluetooth, no extras.

When I think about it, having a mobile phone is a bit of a luxury anyway. A mate of mine has only recently succumbed to pressure to get a mobile and I think he’s still wondering if he did the right thing.

Over the past couple of weeks the on – off button has stopped working on my current handset. As long as I keep the phone charged that shouldn’t be a problem but if it ever goes off, it’s dead. Of course that makes getting on a plane in a couple of months a bit of an issue. I don’t think they’ll understand if I tell them I can’t switch off my mobile.

Time to get a new phone. I found a very nice one for just $199. It’s even got a 2 Megapixel camera and several other features that I’ve never had on a handset. While looking at phones a friend said he had one identical to my current one that he no longer needs and he offered it to me. I still thought a new one would be a better idea.

I was thinking about it later and remembered that not only don’t I have $199, I don’t really need a shiny new phone. I got in touch with my friend and I’ll get my ‘new phone’ later this week.

It would have been so easy to get a new phone and to feel very justified in doing so, after all, my phone needed replacing, but as is often the case there is an alternative.

How good are you at justifying the things you buy? I don’t think that we should never treat ourselves but are there things you buy that you really don’t need? Are there cheaper options that you ignore because you want shiny new things?

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From giving to greed

How can it turn around so quickly? One day we’re buying the line that giving is better than receiving; the next day we’re buying anything we can get our hands on.

How is it that we can talk about how wonderful it is to give to others when we know that just a day later we’ll be spending much, much more on ourselves.

On Christmas Day we celebrate with friends and family and talk about how awful it is that Christmas has been over commercialised, yet 24 hours later we’re lining up at shopping centres ready to send our credit cards into meltdown. It would seem that we’re not so averse to commercialism at this time of year after all, or are we happy to be ‘non-commercialised’ for just one day a year?

Most cities around Australia start their big sales on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas. We wait an extra day and that always seems to be a good reason to grumble. Each year we see people on TV talking about how awful it is that they have to wait an extra 24 hours before they max out their credit cards. They think it would be better all around if those who work in the retail industry only had the one day off for Christmas to recover from the extra stress of last minute Christmas shoppers before they face the barrage of post-Christmas shoppers.

In a first this year, the shops in Fremantle were open on Boxing Day so that people could get their shopping fix. Thousands of people flocked to the port city to grab a bargain.

Have we really become that addicted to consumerism that we can’t relax with our families for an extra few hours? Do we really need to fill our homes with extra ‘stuff’ that much and that soon?

I enjoy getting a bargain as much as anyone but I have no real desire to be crammed in next to thousands of other people, all wanting to be served at once. I have enough self-control and patience to wait a week or two until it all calms down.

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