As I was reading Nicholas Kristof’s What Could you Live Without, it prompted a lot of ideas. I looked around our house and all our accumulated gadgets stared back at me. In the past two years we have been good about giving away clothes, exercise machines, a TV, used laptops, and other miscellaneous items that were just sitting around the house gathering dust, but if I were to do a causal inventory today, I’d find tons of other things we don’t need but still have (being the great consumers we are!).
On a very basic level, there’s not much one “needs” but a lot of things one wants…but it’s kind of a blurred line for me — some of my wants are really needs.
Anyways, I thought long and hard about things I could live without, but it soon became overwhelming, so I decided instead to make a list of things I can’t live without.
Note: This list does not contain basic necessities like food/potable water and my spouse. It also doesn’t account for subjective abstracts like love, happiness, and purpose in life.
Here goes, in the order they occurred to me:
- iPhone or some other handy device (like the iTablet iPad, perhaps?) that lets me stay connected. In decades past, books would have made it to the top of my list.
- A clean bathroom (this is one thing that prevents me from going camping!).
- Warm clothes.
- Comfortable shoes.
- Glasses or contact lenses.
- Money (I am yet to determine how much is enough, but I guess anything that takes me through the day should suffice).
- One hot meal a day.
- A roof over my head.
Not too many things, eh? Try as I might, I can’t think of anything else I’d really need to lead a relatively happy life.
It’s quite revealing when you pause for a minute to reflect on all the commodities you have and the things you really can’t live without.
So, what are some of the things that you can absolutely not give up?