The other day I had an argument with my wife: I confess that I’m not made of steel and I’m not a saint. Despite hundreds of courses I’ve attended, sometimes (just a few times) I lose my temper.
As any other morning I was taking my daughter to school, we are almost always late, but that day we were super late. We were about to get out, when my daughter Anna realizes she forgot her gloves: “Oh my God!”
You need to know that when my daughter (maybe your kids too) decides she has to wear something, there’s nothing to do, even if the house is falling down, she has to. So we start looking for her gloves, but we cannot find them among the number of “things” all over the place.
How is it possible? Weren’t they in the usual place? Maybe they were, but it’s impossible to find things with two little brats around, especially early in the morning, with the clock ticking away and without the help of forensics.
That moment I brought to my wife’s attention that the house was a mess, and you can imagine what she said.
From her point of view: “I work all day to keep the house nice and neat, and my husband keeps telling me that the house is a mess, this is not respectful”.
From my point of view: “There are so much things in this house, it’s not easy to find something when you’re looking for it. The issue is not mess, but plenty of (useless) things we own.
Well, Harvard studies would say that interests are compatible to find a solution in this negotiation, and they really are. I argue with my wife sometimes, but soon peace returns, since understanding, clarifying and saying sorry is our family’s cornerstone.
But that’s not the point. The actual question is: who’s responsible for us being late?
- the ones who let marketing win
Maybe you’re asking why. It’s simple.
How did all those “things” get into my house? Thanks to (because of) marketing, above all because we don’t do anything to avoid it. In the film “Jingle all the way 2”, two men contest a daughter’s approval: she’s the biological daughter of one of them, and the adoptive daughter of the other one. They both misunderstand girl’s wish, and they both begin searching for a little talking bear. One of them even buy all of the toys in a store to prevent the other one buy the same toy.
In the end, for a series of unfortunate events, they will meet on Christmas night and give that toy as a gift from both of them. They will find that the only thing their daughter wanted from Santa Claus was peace and nothing else. Universe always gives you what you’re looking for, often in some way you cannot approve or understand, but anyway makes you happy. The girl gets what she wants and the daddies manage to make her happy without realizing it.
I take advantage of this film metaphor to ask:
What do our children want? What is the greatest gift we can give them?
A thing or an experience?
I don’t know the truth, but I know “my truth”. Everyday marketing creates expectation, and if you’re not focused on what really counts in this earthly existence, chances are you end up with a lot of “things” and lose sight of what’s important for you in this moment, like Anna’s gloves.
How could we fill our house with things?
Maybe we didn’t to that, maybe our environment did that. Friends and relatives think that giving “things” as a present is better that giving nothing, with absolutely good intentions. But you can be sure that an experience is far better than a toy for children: walking in the park, ice skating, watching a movie, going to the library…
“Spending time with children is more important than spending money on children.” (Anthony Douglas Williams)
We should impose this habit; but what happens 80% of the times?
Maybe you’ve already watched some of the upsetting videos about the Black Friday shopping: watch this one.
This happens for one reason, “low self-esteem”, when people are not enough for themselves, they need “things” to give themselves a value. Maybe you and I will not get us hurt to buy a TV for $ 10, but don’t get too upset, since marketing knows how to fool us, one “thing” at the time. With no scoop, no super-discount, no blatant declaration. Just one thing at the time.
So, what can we do?
- repeat to your kids that TV tells a lot of lies
- wake up and bring your consciousness at a higher level
What should I buy as a Christmas present? Experiences:
- a weekend trip
- a dinner
- a ticket for the cinema
- a massage
- a training course
- a concert
There’s only one object I buy as a gift, a book: it’s suitable for everyone, because a book is like a thousand experiences. And I give Training with Movies subscription to my friends as a gift: it’s powerful like a thousand training courses. It’s an experience they enjoy all over the year.
P.S.: if you want to take advantage of these days to access the members area, discover our subscription here:
P.P.S.: we’re still looking for Anna’s gloves.