The Problem With "Stuff"

Posted on at

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and my husband and I have mixed emotions about it.  Do we enjoy celebrating each other?  Absolutely.  But, as many others have already pointed out, Valentine's Day may actually be more of a "Hallmark Holiday" than anything else.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that Hallmark sells 13+ million dollars of cards on this one day.  Russell Stover makes bank on those boxed chocolates, too.  And the flower shops?  Oh, don't get me started on those.  80 billion dollars for a dozen roses seems reasonable, right?  Not.

So why do we do it?  Why do we empty our pockets on February 14th?  I'll go out on a limb here and say that it's not necessarily because we want to show appreciation for our significant other (although hopefully that's part of it).  I think it's the same reason we clear out our bank accounts on Christmas: We think we never have enough "stuff."  We are constantly in the business of trying to make ourselves look better by accumulating more and more items we don't need to impress people we don't like.  Is Valentine's Day really the holiday of love, or is it a secret contest between women at work to see whose boyfriend bought them the most expensive flowers or piece of jewelry?

The video below explores the way our society operates and exposes what a wasteful people we are.  The lady's sarcasm about our rapid production and consumption will make you laugh, and hopefully it will make you think.  To feed our appetite for the latest and greatest, we are not only destroying our planet, but we are destroying our own happiness.  Consider this: Does that 72-inch flatscreen TV really solve all of your problems or make you feel better?  Perhaps momentarily, but eventually the newness will wear off, and you'll find yourself back at Square One, trying to outdo the Joneses (who, by the way, also now have a 72-inch flatscreen TV).

The times I've been the happiest are actually those when my husband and I have been living the simplest. By cutting out all of the non-essentials, we are not only contributing to a healthier Earth, but we are also more able to focus on those things which truly matter.

This Valentines Day, do something special for your significant other.  Celebrate friendship and love.  Just remember, having more "stuff" doesn't mean having more joy.   Sometimes the greatest memories are created without spending any money.

(View this and other videos on My WebTV at

About the author


Mary Rachel Fenrick is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Education and a minor in Spanish. She currently teaches Special Education and English for Norman Public Schools in Norman, Oklahoma. Some of her passions include reading, writing, editing, teaching, distance running,…

Subscribe 0