Our society has too high a regard for beauty and perfection. The television would have you believe everything must be beautiful and perfect in our lives…or it might just reflect poorly upon us.
The thought process works like this: If you own something imperfect – YOU (by association) are also imperfect, and a lesser human being. This message is repeated over and over again by the actions of our friends, neighbors, magazines, television, and corporate leaders. Any physical good with even a minor blemish, hole, or other imperfection must be cast-off as trash.
This is as ridiculous as it is wasteful. The truth is, almost nothing gets truly worn out in our modern western society. This is a shameful waste of our planet’s resources, and one that will keep you a wage-slave for the rest of your days.
Let me tell you a story about a kitchen…
Old kitchens get no respect. They are extremely durable and long lasting. The sink and stoves work as efficiently as the day they were installed. The old kitchen makes food as efficiently as any new kitchen, and cleans-up just as quickly.
Once, long ago, when she was shiny and new, that kitchen was considered awesome! She was the envy of every housewife.
As time passed, (as it always does) the kitchen got old. Tarnished. Blemished. Scratched. Imperfect. Her colors were no longer in fashion. She became “out-of-style”. Suddenly she was no longer something to envy, but something to hide and deride. Poor old kitchen – She still makes the same quality meals as when she was new, but now she’s a source of shame.
It’s a tragic story… There is nothing inherently wrong with old imperfect things (like the kitchen), they just seem to have less social value than the physical depreciation of the object would imply.
Strangely, humans will seek out perfection, beauty, and fashionable colors to their own detriment. I can’t help but wonder why? Is this some kind of genetic survival trait that enabled ancient man to survive and reproduce? I have no idea, but you can find this craziness embedded deep within our western culture:
The Perfect Wedding – Brides want a “perfect” wedding, and are willing to pay anything to make that happen. Over $20k for a wedding is not unheard of. That’s one expensive party!
The Perfect Car – Cars in America must be new, perfect, unblemished, and fashionable. Got a minor dent? Instead of living with the imperfection, our overprice car insurance will gladly fix that up for us.
The Perfect Clothes – For some reason, humans seem to have gotten it into their heads that wardrobes must be refreshed regularly, match some form of socially acceptable “fashion”, have no holes, and must not come off a “used” rack.
The Perfect Home – Much like the kitchen, some homeowners will stop at nothing to beautify their homes inside and out. I have neighbors that do not have a single blade of grass out of place. Not a single weed in the yard. Not a single chip in the paint. They frequently feature extravagant decorations during the holidays, and a front door that probably costs more than my entire car.
And on and on and on….
Mr. Tako would like to remind everyone of the following:
- You are not the products that you buy. Just because you can buy a new product does not make you a better person.
- Life isn’t perfect. You will never be perfect. Stop pursuing false perfection.
- The cost to your life for this false perfection is outrageous. The cycle of constant replacement will keep you on the hamster wheel of wage-slavery for most of your life. Stop expecting life to be beautiful and perfect!
Embrace The Imperfection
I would like to suggest another route through life, one that I have personally taken. A path that will that will help you unlock your financial independence quicker and release the chains of wage slavery: Disregard the search for false perfection. Instead, embrace imperfection!
Old, imperfect, and out-of-style has tons of advantages…
- Used works fine. 90% of the time, old stuff that is discarded will still work perfectly. Like it’s new. It hasn’t really been used up.
- Used is so much cheaper. Many times used stuff will even be free. It may have a few blemishes, but that just adds character. Saving tons of money buying used frees up extra cash for investing.
- Old things just don’t die. (No, I’m not talking about your great uncle Robert) I mean the old products that exist in our lives (for whatever reason) that just don’t wear out. They seem to last forever, as if they are imbued with some kind of magical immortality. New stuff is made with planned obsolescence in-mind. Often, “old stuff” will outlast a new product for just this reason.
- Old things can often be repaired. Long ago in a galaxy far far away from China, products would sometimes need to be repaired – and get this: They were designed to be repaired, not thrown away! Crazy, I know. I swear I’m not making this up. True story!
- Out-of-style gets noticed. When you show-up to the next office cocktail party with your completely out-of-style stuff, you are going to get noticed. Embrace the kitsch. Be chic, and make a statement!
Where to get “Good Old Stuff”
“Good Old Stuff” is everywhere! It’s constantly being cast-off! Don’t let it become consumer waste. Instead, let it become one more tool in your toolbox of financial independence. You can find “Good Old Stuff” at places like:
- Thrift stores
- Antique stores (Warning: These can often be over-priced)
- Garage sales, Estate Sales
- Flee Markets
- Habitat for Humanity ReStores
- The Buy Nothing Project
- Heck, even Amazon sells used stuff, and you can sell your own used stuff on Amazon!
I contend that imperfection is the perfect medicine for society’s over-consumption. Old, imperfect and out-of-style is beautiful – Embrace it, and it will give you financial freedom.
[Image Credit: Wikimedia]