I come from a culture of consumerism, a place where materialism can be likened to storing treasures in heaven. In this culture, everyone has stuff (Stuff: a technical term for the clutter of possessions that one acquires within a period of time). And like a creature of habit, I too acquire objects to fill space in my life.
There are people in my life who think that I am not materialistic. They think that since I move to these far off places of the world, with two bags and a carry on, that I am not exercising materialism. They think that I am not attached to the stuff in my life, and that I am above the struggle of acculturation within my society.
I am here to tell a different story.
The fact of the matter is, I struggle with materialism. Like an alcoholic that craves a drink, I too crave certain luxuries in life. And at times, I have found myself stretched, when thinking how to do without these things that apparently bring richness to my life.
Lets take an inventory of the things I brought with me to El Salvador.
Clothing... I have some really hot T-shirts for every occasion of life. I have a collection of fun T-shirts that I find for cheap at second hand places, and the great find is half the excitement. And while we’re on the subject of T-shirts, let me just note that I wear half the clothing I brought, and the rest is still packed in a bag.)
Shoes...I did ok in this department. Two pairs of sneakers, two sandals and one pair of dress shoes. I love a good pair of shoes, but the reality is, I don’t wear too many shoe combinations here. So I don’t need them.
Music... Many of you know that my interest in music spans the gamete, and collecting albums over the years, as equaled one really large collection. And to conserve space, I managed to put most of my favorite music on my laptop.
Books... If you have been to my parents house, you will know that the small square of space that I call my room is filled with bookcases of books. I read everything from history books (my favorite is Latin American History), travel books, poetry and books on theology and prayer. I literally have hundreds of books that I have read or partially read. Now, when it comes to El Salvador, I was able to restrict myself quite well (I