Bin It!

It’s amazing what you can buy in the Pound Shop. Cheap and cheerful is definitely the order of the day. My Dell laptop was priced at a mere £250. I got five years of mileage from it before it broke down. There was the option to fix, but the price of a new one meant it just wasn’t worth it. And that’s when the seismic shift of the modern world dawned on me: when there’s an issue with something we don’t fix it anymore – we simply bin it and replace it. It’s quicker, easier, and, most importantly, cheaper. Mega industries, standardised production and dehumanised assembly lines now generate gadgets, clothes, furniture, appliances, and a plethora of other commodities by the lorry load. The subsequent economies of scale obliterate the market value and pump out endless varieties of options to capture our imagination. It’s the culture of constantly changing consumption, and it’s fast spilling over into other parts of life.

Think about situations. People have lost the fortitude and resilience to stay put, tolerate the difficulties, and patiently adjust to a situation and discover the unique opportunities on offer. The impulse reaction is to eject ourselves, dive into something new, and find a comfortable space to settle into. Think about relationships. When there is friction and disagreement we hot-headedly cut ourselves off, disconnect from others, and turn our attention elsewhere. It’s not uncommon that people have a relatively minor argument and never speak to each other again. We’re confident that there are plenty more friends to revert to. Think about aspirations. In the face of a few flops and failures it’s easy to ditch our dreams. Maybe it’s not practical, maybe it’s not worth it, maybe it wasn’t meant to be. The conclusion – maybe I’ll try something else. The winners of life sing the glories of “sticking with it” even when the chips are down.

I’m not denying the fact that change is sometimes needed. But remember that situations, relationships and dreams carry phenomenal potential. They are the building blocks of a beautiful life. Don’t let them go unless you really have to. Avoid the ‘bin it’ mentality. If possible, work through the difficulties, invest your time, energy and intelligence in making it work, and you’ll be amazed at the priceless treasure that you accumulate.