19 April 2013
Q is for Quantity vs. Quality
As I type this, a new complex of storage units is being built in my little rural town. I guess all the barns packed with equipment and accumulations of other junk are full and folks need to pay someone to store more of their excess. Stuff they obviously don't need since they aren't using it, and will probably be sold by the family after they die. Why do Americans do this? It's peculiar to this culture - an entire industry has evolved to store our collections of junk.
And junk it often it - you can bet most of those storage units rented by Americans aren't filled with Waterford crystal or fine wool carpets. It's a huge quantity of stuff that has very little real quality.
In Europe, the mindset of consumers is more along these lines: buy the most expensive you can afford, buy less of it, and use it as long as you can. Sometimes, with really good quality items, purchases are made once in a lifetime, as in furniture for example.
This past week and all the horrific news has me thinking of the information overload in our society too. With the Internet at our fingertips, we have access to an outrageous quantity of information every second of the day. But is it quality information? Much of it not. Not only is it negative and sensational, it's repeated over and over. Example? The relentless imagery of the Boston bombers which looks to be just another sad story evolving. Yet the conspiracy theories and racial profiling will persist in quantity - no quality there - and it's all getting packed into our little brains.
Think about what you let into your life today, whether it's junk you buy, or thoughts. What if you have to live with it forever? Would you still take it in? Do you really want that outfit that will be out of style next year? Would you wear it in five years if you couldn't get rid of it? More importantly, do you want those thoughts and images to live in your brain and heart for as long as you live? My advice: get in the habit of opting for quality only. Your life and the world will be better for it.