Hoarding: Greed, Part 2


| 11/3/2014 10:10:00 AM


Hoarding picIs the hoarding of money different from or any healthier than the hoarding of stuff?

The “reality” TV show Hoarders offers a glimpse into the world of hoarding. Is the show’s point to help people let go of clocks, salt shakers, and airplane models? Mock people’s inability to let go? Or plain, morbid curiosity about what drives their hoarding? I’d love to see a segment on the show about hoarding money. Think about it. We label people who hoard newspapers, bottles, and, well, cats, as crazy. But when the wealthy in our communities hoard money, we idealize and revere both the hoarding and the hoarder.

I’ll tell you that I’m not good at purging stuff myself. I have many boxes in my basement filled with my childhood memories, holiday supplies, block party “necessities,” large celebration basics, and even a salvaged kitchen. My biological dad was a salvager long before the green movement started, so I come by my habits honestly. If there’s a project that can be saved from the land fill, I’m your gal. I do my best to keep my hoarding to the confines of the stuff in our basement. That said, I do not believe in hoarding money.

I think we can all agree that no one will be able to take any of their worldly goods or money with them when they die. And one day we will all die.

I believe everyone should be able to meet their basic needs for their survival: food/water, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. In many countries, the idea of how much is needed to live a satisfying life looks very different from ours. They need much less. So maybe we should take a look at why we feel we need so much more?



I would say the roots of our greed and need to hoard stem from scarcity. The definition of greed is: intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food. I’d add “scarcity” to that definition. We need to understand why greed and hoarding exist, on the individual, community, state, and national level. By better understanding the reasons behind greed and hoarding, we might be able to help ourselves and others find ways to look for something more fulfilling to enhance their life rather than the selfish desire to have more than one person will ever need or use. When people’s basic needs are met, I believe they are freed up to live outside of scarcity.



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