What your tools say about you

23 Feb

Tools.  They are more than metallic objects shaped to perform a function on an internal combustion engine.  They are the things that we use to live.  Using that definition, a more broad one than we normally confine the word to, we’re looking at our lives in a much different way.

The tools we use to live include things such as our homes, our beds, our cars, our bicycles, and even our computers.  None of these things are normally regarded as a tool, even though we use them to make our lives happen.

Think about this kind of tool that  you work so hard to obtain using that line of thought.  Do you really need a new car every few years when it is nothing more than a tool?  That house that eats your bank account like a teenage boy in a buffet line…do you really need or even want that tool in your life?

We have all become slaves to our tools rather than merely using our tools to make our lives possible.  We work only to get more tools that we really don’t have the energy or time to even use them…because we’re so busy working to get more tools.  We spend our entire life supporting these tools, but at the end of the day, or the end of our lives, how much have they given back?

It is as though with each purchase, we give up a little more of our life, and if we use credit to buy those tools, we’re giving up a bit of our soul along with it.  The reality is that we don’t need all of these possessions if we regard them as merely tools to accomplish a purpose.  We don’t have to sign away living to have it, either.

Certain “luxuries” are definitely useful and pleasant, such as having electric lights, air conditioning, heating, etc.  Owning a car that is comfortable and has air conditioning makes traveling much nicer too, and therefore it is a useful tool, but there again…there is a certain point when the price of the tool is not warranted by an improved ability to accomplish its purpose.  That’s when you compare a Mercedes with a Volkswagon, or a Land Rover with a Jeep.  Is there enough improvement between the two to justify the additional cost?

The same goes with our living spaces and everything we put inside of them.  How much are we really paying for things that do nothing for us, but are merely items acquired to impress people that we don’t even know, let alone care what they think?  How much of your life do you want to donate to the cause of “keeping up with the Joneses”?

I look at the way we have been living for the past hundred years, and its as though we’ve all become infatuated with bling in our lives, and we’re not even concerned if that bling is nothing more than gilded garbage, as long as it displays the right name.

Seriously, how about giving me a decade of your life in return for some gilded garbage?

You would look at someone as if they were nuts if they were to approach you with that question, yet almost every American does it freely each and every day of the year…sacrificing a large portion of their life for something that at the end of the day, is nothing more than bling.  We may make fun of the magpie’s attraction to something shiny, but apparently it is because we recognize that same characteristic in ourselves.

Think about it.  At the end of your life, when you take into account all of your achievements, will a new car every four years be very high on  your list?

If it is going to be in that top ten…I actually feel sorry for you.


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