A Dream on Crap and Consumerism
It’s been years since I’ve done any dream reporting. Most people don’t care for other peoples’ dreams and I don’t blame them. They are really a personal kind of communication. Having said that, let me tell you a dream I had last night.
Did I get a smile at least? No? Ok, doesn’t matter. I don’t think this dream is terribly personal as it contains a “lesson” very much applicable to today’s consumerist society. It’s about stuff. Or crap if you prefer. It’s about climate change, and war, and dead sperm whales, and obesity and general discomfort. It’s about most of us this side of the world that are buried under stuff made by most of us living on the other side of the world. It’s about a kind of “us” versus “us” in a Seussian society. And it’s really about Horton hearing a Who and about a Grinch who stole Christmas and thankfully did not return it.
It goes this way: I and a couple of “my” children (the dream is in story form so the characters, including the one I call myself, are fictional) drive back from the fields on a tractor pulling a kind of rake. We arrive at the farm house and my partner is in the yard all worried and upset. The reason: while no one was home thieves came in and took absolutely everything of value in the house. So I asked if the police had been there and the answer was “Yes, and they’re opening the case.”
I could then go into the house. It was quite empty, but surprisingly the thieves left everything they did not want in very neat stacks on the floor. Nothing was torn, ripped or broken. The theft had been very orderly done. All good stuff was gone: computers, microwave, serger, sewing machines, coffee maker, pictures, tools, cameras, TV, books, music equipment, what money and jewellery was accessible, on it went, room after room. Everything of value: gone.
The children watched, waiting for the parents’ reaction. We looked at one another and suddenly it was as if a light came on. We said, look, we can see the walls, the floors, the whole house now. It’s neat! We have all this space! Let’s not rush into replacing the stuff. Let’s see what we can live with as is. I saw the children’s faces light up and they went racing through the house as if it was a game to see what they could find to put together and engage a new lifestyle. They were laughing.
Then we went outside and the same thing happened: we saw that some of the small stuff had been taken, but what we were looking at was all the stuff we had accumulated, and how easily we could do with just a fraction of it all. We hugged each other and re-discovered a feeling of love we hadn’t known in many years. We felt freed from shackles we had unknowingly been dragging and adding to year by year. We both felt younger by decades.
It was a great dream of liberation from consumerism; from “stuff.” It was a reminder that we serve that which enslaves us.
It also reminded me of this most honest of all yard sale signs:
I don’t know about you, but I say, let’s stop pushing each other’s crap on each other and let’s just stop buying stuff just because we can. It’s insane. And for those who insist buying crap creates jobs, that’s an even more insane argument. That’s like saying, building prisons creates jobs, so let’s put more people in jail.