First of all, you’ll have to click on the Closed Caption button because this is not in English. Then you'd have to understand how it is that people live in other parts of the world. This kind of lifestyle is basically unknown in a capitalist, conspicuously consumerist country like the United States. It also brought to my mind this quote:
‘The rich man glories in his riches, because he feels that they naturally draw upon him the attention of the world.’ Not only does material wealth make for a more comfortable life, but we derive satisfaction from the perceived admiration of others. Wealth feels good. Luxury purchases light up the pleasure centres in our brain. If you think you are drinking expensive wine, not only does it taste better but the brain’s valuation system associated with the experience of pleasure shows greater activation, compared with drinking exactly the same wine when you believe it to be cheap.AEON
After having moved, I have realized that I can be happy with a place that I can call my own, even if it is not 'really' mine. I feel that even though I don't have everything I thought I needed (my commute tripled, basically, and I have some additional expenses) I have discovered that by making the place 'mine' (I did invest money in some things, remember that trip to IKEA?) I have discovered a different kind of satisfaction: the fact that I basically carved my own space out of an empty place has made me happy.
And I do not have anything remotely expensive. The most expensive thing I currently own is a fucking armoire that I bought following a model online and when I got to put it together I realized it was prettier and way much more expensive than I had initially intended. That's what happens when you buy things online, I guess. But I have realized that what I have are things that mean something to me. I have surrounded myself with mementos and things that give me pleasure and make my life better. And I think that's what gives me joy: they do not speak of a specific status, they make my life better.
But what I would have to say that this video made me realize that I am grateful for what I have. I am grateful that even thought I do not really possess material wealth, the things I have make my life much come comfortable and pleasant, even thought I am not sure they would cause admiration in others. I am not the things that I have. I have things that make me happy.
One thing I have to admit, though, is that I have surrounded myself with things I like is basically because I cannot make art. I think that dedicating one's life to art while minimizing the impact of money and objects really seems like a very enlightened kind of life. I think it would be cooler if my self-concept were tied to what I make rather to what I own. I wish I could do that. Sometimes I wish I were creative and able to paint, or sculpt, or create music and dedicate myself to that craft and create beautiful things. But alas, I do not have that gift. Not hat being creative like that would help me in case of a zombie invasion, but I’d really like to be able to produce art.
Meanwhile, I'll stick to enjoying what I have and remember that I have to be grateful for it. I have realized it's not about status, but about identity. This place I'm living in and its contents are not for show, even though they are an extension of me. They are for living. Because even though I don't live in the lap of luxury, I do consider myself lucky to have what I have. And that includes you, Constant Reader.