The other day, I went into Target to buy some presents for my son Luc’s birthday. The first thing I saw was a huge bin of stuff marked: “ALL ITEMS REDUCED TO ONE DOLLAR!”.
I stopped to look at the various items for sale. I’m thinking, I should check this out, because these things are ONLY A DOLLAR! And clearly they are only going to be AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME! If I don’t act now, I could lose out on this unique opportunity to acquire stuff at a low low price!
After calming myself, I walked away from the $1 section. I don’t need to buy random stuff for Luc just because it’s a dollar for a limited time.
I’m not saying he wouldn’t enjoy stuff. One of Luc’s favorite things to play with is a drawer full of stuff: coins, poker chips, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, Monopoly money, dominoes, and so on. He uses this mish-mash in creative ways and will often play with it for hours, ignoring more conventional toys.
Maybe if I had had Luc’s “stuff” drawer in mind when standing in front of the Target display, I’d have been able to pick out something that he could use creatively. But that’s not what I was thinking, standing there. I was thinking, I’d better pick out some fucking stuff from one of these bins RIGHT NOW or I’ll never have the chance again.
This is, of course, stupid. There is no rush to acquire stuff, at any price. The best thing to do is just walk past the stuff, and quiet that part of the brain that for some reason triggers a scarcity panic. There is not going to be a stuff shortage anytime soon.