Half A Suitcase BTW

I recently wrote about the choices that arise from having an abundance of things and the feeling of well-being that may accompany the paring back of those things.

As I wrote, I considered expectations about choice. Are we, as a ramification of (Western-style) consumption, habituated not only to having things but to having choices, even if they sometimes overwhelm us?

Most of us perceive financial security to be accompanied by choice. We enjoy collection and consumption. We like to have.

Having provides choice. It can also bring overload. And gurus to help us declutter.

But the intersection between things, overload and choice is not always so benign for individuals.

Depending on which income benchmark is used, either 2.2 million Australians (a little over one in ten) or 3.8 million (almost one out of every five) lived in poverty in 2006, the latest date for which figures are available. The resulting deprivation means not having things such as a decent and secure home; a substantial meal at least once a day; dental care or heating in at least one room of the house.

As the Australian Council of Social Service says: “While many Australians juggle payments of bills, people living in poverty have to make difficult choices, such as skipping a meal to pay for a child’s textbooks.”

Not having also provides choice – of an entirely different kind.

2 responses to “Half A Suitcase BTW

  1. This lack of choice because of lack of funds is absolute and having lived on both sides of that particular fence I find that now I have what I need and have those choices. I still only heat the living dining kitchen area. I still turn lights off as I leave the room, i still wear my jeans until they fall off my arse! The dog still lives on leftovers. I still think do i really really need this before buying. Maybe we should all begin on the poorer side. Though it is hard over there, very hard. c

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