My beloved bluetooth speaker landed in a Goodwill donation bin a week or so ago. This was not the plan. It was an accident, a mix-up, and when I realized it later that night, a peculiar melancholy settled into my spirit. I felt a little lost without the silly thing. I mean, it wasn’t like I’d named the speaker or anything, but I carried it around with me quite often in this big green tote bag (the one that looks like a handbag, but serves as a duffel, with my actual handbag inside).
Music means a lot to me. My music exists out there in the ether; I know that I could listen to it on the exact same speaker were I to go out and get a new one, but it was my speaker that I wanted.
The next morning, I got to the Goodwill five minutes before they opened, spoke with the manager, and walked out with my speaker, which was found after the kind people in the back searched through the bins for about 20 minutes.
This incident brought back to mind one of the motives behind my minimalism efforts: my desire to resolve my issue with attachment. It’s one thing to love a cherished item, but it’s another thing to feel forlorn if the item vanishes. The thought of my speaker all alone in a bin of discarded electronics actually had me feeling sad for it.
Emotional attachments like this are unhealthy. How can it be healthy when the loss of a material item jeopardizes your emotional well-being? Buddhism teaches against attachment for a reason.
Mind you, this speaker holds no sentimental value for me. It’s just a speaker… and now I realize that it’s kind of like a security blanket, which underscores the problem.
When it comes to minimalism, everyone has their reasons. For me, a minimalism mindset is a worthy one to cultivate because I want to stop forming attachments to material items. If this Goodwill incident was a personal minimalism test, I failed.
I’ve obviously got a way to go before reaching my goal. I’ll keep working on it!