Adam and Eve and rampant consumerism

I am sure you are wondering how does Adam and Eve figure into the clutter equation. Well of course I am going to tell you even though I can’t recall why this even popped into my head while I was cleaning the toilet yesterday.

Most of us would know the story of Adam and Eve and the strife they have caused the rest of the human race over the course of history. For those who don’t know here is the abridged version. God created man it only took God a short while to realise man needed company so God created woman. These first two humans are called Adam and Eve. Next God told these folk that they can have whatever they want in their beautiful garden of Eden except for one thing – an Apple. Now why an apple I don’t know but I suspect it wasn’t really an apple but that the apple is just a symbol for something else. You can use your own imagination there but either way the gist is that they had everything they could possible want or need in creation except this “apple”. So what happens, yes you guessed it the wily miss Eve entices Adam to take the apple and God was less than please and banished then and in turn the rest of us lowly humans from the garden for all of eternity.

Now you don’t have to believe in God to understand where I am going with this because even if this story is totally fictitious  it was recorded a very very long time ago. So how long have we had this obsession to have things we don’t need just because they are there to have. Adam and Even had everything that they needed but they screwed the rest of mankind by wanting what they didn’t already have. Whether they were born in the year dot or this story was invented some time later to discourage people from doing wrong, succumbing to temptation or for wanting more than they need it really doesn’t matter. The fact is that we as humans have obviously been weak to temptation and greed for a very long time and it seems now we are worse than ever.

In the modern era we sacrifice time with out families, our health and general well being to work endless hours to acquire enough money to buy all this stuff we don’t even need. When are we ever going to learn that enough is enough.

See what happens when you leave me alone with some paper towel and toilet cleaner all sorts of ideas pop into my head. I may have something to do with the fumes but it was a rather interesting thought and I hoped you might give it some thought as well.

Today’s Declutter Item

My son wishes he could fit into this flying jacket of his fathers but alas he is too small so it will have to go since he isn’t likely to grow much more than he already has.

Flying Jacket

 

I am grateful from anything that brings me joy. Below are five things that gave me joy today.

  • Coming up with lots of declutter ideas while doing the cleaning.
  • Free bread from the green grocer.
  • I love it when I disinclined to do the cleaning but just throw myself into it anyway and actually start to enjoy it.
  • When Steven (my husband) cracked one of his “funny” lines and it was actually funny. Quite often he is the only one laughing.
  • When I are expecting something to cost about $5 and the sales person said that will be $1.75.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.



Continue reading with these posts:

  • Adam and Eve The story of Adam and Eve, I believe, is about more than just defying Gods wishes and giving into temptation. Even many religious people believe this to be a made up story, a parable if […]
  • Favourite Five for Friday 11MAR2011 Wow! It was difficult this week to condense down to only five comments because there were so many good ones and a lot of AH HA moment for our readers and for me too. I would like to […]
  • Day 167 Take your time, learn as you go. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that my take on decluttering is " slow and steady wins the race". One of the advantages to this approach is that you can start […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. I like it!

  2. The difference of today and Adam & Eve is that they can’t compair their wishes against “everbody else”. As in, person A has an Iphone, so person B wants/feel pressured to get also an Iphone to keep up with the Joneses.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      the Joneses have a lot to answer for and I quit trying to keep up with them a long time ago when I realise they had $100,000 in credit card debt while I had none. I am a bit of a non conformist and would prefer to be different. It is very liberating to feel this way. Once I used to be so envious of people with big homes now I just think I hope they can afford a housecleaner as well.

      • That’s the trouble with the Jones. You can see what they have (stuff) but you can’t see what they don’t have (no retirement savings, debt, verge of home foreclosure, etc.).

        • Yes Cindy you are exactly right and even if they don’t have those issues you tell yourself they have if it makes you feel better about what you have. See the whole thing is really just a mind game. You choose which game you are going to play so ultimately it is up to you.

          • My husband often says, “Let the Joneses keep up with me this year!” He of course is referring to the no-debt, lots of happiness part of our lives.

          • Colleen and Cindy, that is a very interesting thought, I didn’t know that before! Thank you for that!

            • Hi Nurchamiel,
              I have met plenty of people that appear to have everything but soon found out it is not because they can afford it but because they are in debt up to their eyeballs. I can’t imagine how they live that way it must be really hard work keeping up appearances and forever worrying about their debt situation.

  3. I enjoy reading your blog, however I would like to say that I don’t think this is a “ficticious” story…Adam & Eve were the first people, and we are all brothers & sisters. God told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil, and this they did anyway. God drove them out of the garden before they could eat from the tree of eternal life. There is alot more to the story and it’s very interesting! Maybe you will take some time to learn more about it. Thanks again for all your interesting articles.

    • Hi Amy,
      I understand what you are saying here and I respect and admire your faith. My audience is made up of a diverse group of people though and not everyone has the same belief system. My point was more about how there must be a long history of people wanting more than they need. That regardless of your belief system the story of Adam and Eve goes back so far that it proves that humans have obviously had a problem with this issue for a long long time.

  4. I want you to know that I unsubscribed from your blog updates today due to your post entitled “Adam and Eve and rampant consumerism.” Let me be clear that the decision had NOTHING to do with my or anyone else’s religious beliefs, or lack thereof. Perhaps you were trying to sound “funny” with your assertion that “it only took God a short while to realise man couldn’t look after himself so God created woman.” Perhaps you actually believe in such gender-supremacy garbage as this. Either way, your snide quip comes off as nasty, hostile, self-important and mean, and I don’t need your foolish, negative perspectives in my life.

    • Hi M.C.
      I am sorry to have offended you and on reflection it was wrong of me to write that. I was just trying to be funny but in light of you taking offense I have removed that silly quip from my post. I don’t at all believe in gender supremacy quite the opposite actually. For the sake of transparency I will leave your comment for all to see so that you can be satisfied that you have had a chance to have your say. Thank you for subscribing to my blog up this point and I am sorry that this one discretion has caused you to unsubscribe.

    • Calico ginger :

      Hi M.C. – have a look at unclutterer today: http://unclutterer.com/2010/03/02/a-lesson-on-mental-clutter-from-the-book-zen-shorts/ and then maybe ask yourself what kind of burden are you are still carrying. Nobody here is into gender-supremecy and Colleen has attracted her following because kindness and integrity shine through every word she writes.

      • Hi Calico ginger,
        thank you for your support, I really do appreciate it. I took a risk with the remark and I got what I deserved really. Sometimes what seems like an amusing little non-PC quip can really hit a nerve and I should have been more sensitive to that. After sharing a couple of emails with M.C. I am pleased to say that I have found this to be a valuable learning opportunity in more ways than one and I am actually grateful for that. So once again thank you for your support and now I am going to check out that link you left because I can probably learn something else from that.

        • Well, you can certainly take criticism well and graciously!

          • Thanks Cat’s meow, it is actually something I am getting better at. The key is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and you can soon see their point of view. I know I react strongly at times when someone hits a raw nerves with me and I understand that is more about my baggage than anything intended by the other person. I think sometimes I have hit a steep learning curve in the last few year but I am grateful of the lessons I am learning. I like to think it is making me better person.

      • Excellent! A lot of people really need to lighten (up) the load 🙂

        • Hi Meg,
          I read the linked article that Calico ginger left and it is good advice for me that is for sure. I often carry the burden way to long and yet I know it is my choice to take it on in the first place. Although I must admit a lot of it falls into the continual bad habit category that is mentioned right at the end of the article but I think am getting better about having the discussions with the perpetrator too.

  5. I appreciate you being so inclusive, Colleen. I’m one of the people you referenced with a different belief system, and I think you did a good job on handling that aspect of it, for which I am grateful.

    I love your sense of humour; it shines through everything you write.

    • Hi Jo,
      I appreciate your support Jo.
      Some days I do step over the line and today was one of those days. I was not very PC with that remark about men and I a happy to take the criticism square on the chin. I have discussed it with M.C. and I believe we are OK.

  6. Despite the dust-up about Adam, I think Colleen’s essential point is correct– this is at some level a story about how it is human nature to want things that we don’t have (and probably don’t need). I find that recognizing this tendency has been helpful to me in resisting my tendency to add more “stuff” to my life. If I have the impulse to buy something, I remind myself that it’s probably just an impulse, it will pass, and usually it does.

    • This is so true. Mostly I want to get things soon, but after a while I don’t care about it anymore. I’m actually trying to delay my purchases and see what I still want 30 days after.

      • Hi Nurchamiel,
        good for you! This is a very good strategy. Your comments warm my heart because you seem to be really taking on the advice you are finding here and that could make a big difference for the rest of your life.

    • Hi Laura,
      that is a very good strategy and I use it myself at times. If we can resist buying on item on impulse and actually give ourselves thinking time to consider the purchase rationally we will soon come to an honest conclusion as to whether we NEED it or not. Then we just have to work on the WANT demons.

  7. Hi Colleen! M.C. really needs to have a look in his life! It’s obvious you meant the comment as a joke. Everyone who reads your blog always, like me, knows how you have a good relationship with your husband. The person M.C. describes is not you. Your point was not about gender, but that people always want what they can’t have, or always want more and more. I think this post shows our inclination as humans to “have” instead of “being”.

    • Hi Andreia,
      thank you for your support but it was a little naughty of me and I am happy to take my punishment. I am not sure either whether M.C is a man, a women could get just as offended by the idea that maybe I was suggesting women were only put on the earth to take care of men. You are right about the point of the post though and I am glad you could see the moral of the story without getting hung up on my bad attempt to be humorous.