Back at the start of the year, I started looking into new cars again. It made me wonder why my dream car from 10 years ago — a 2013 Mazdaspeed3, which is what I'm currently driving and have been driving since 2013 — no longer feels like a dream car now.
I mean, sure, it is 10 years old. Some of the paint is chipping. The seats are no longer brand new. Some of the buttons on the steering wheel have lost their symbols. The headlights are starting to look hazy. Some of the wheels have curb rash. There is a big chip on the hood scoop. There is a gash on the passenger side rear wheel fender from scraping a parking lot column in Galveston. I mean yes, it is old. But isn't this still the same car I dreamed of owning a decade ago?
And now that prompts a different question: Was it the car that I really wanted? Or was I just looking for something new?
Detachment, from worldly possessions and worldly status (fame, honor, recognition) is what ultimately gives you freedom and well-being in this world. That is because desiring for more possessions, more recognition, more fame, only fills you up for a short period of time, before you'll eventually want more.
And to get more, you'll start looking for ways to outdo your previous efforts. This usually means acquiring more possessions (maybe even more expensive possessions), acquiring more recognition, acquiring more fame, etc...
Think of a person who is addicted to likes in social media. A certain post, photo or video can only get you so much likes. So what are you to do next? Post even grander photos and videos of course.
So, as you can see, it is a vicious cycle that will ultimately leave you miserable, because you can never really satisfy your desire for more. Practicing detachment however, gives you permission to appreciate what is in this world, but not have them weigh you down with the desire for more.
This is perhaps the best sermon I've heard from Bishop Barron. In this sermon, he talks about how earthly goods and values keep us in an addictive pattern. To counter that, he talks about knowing how to “wear the goods of the world lightly.” It's an excellent sermon that ties in the first and second readings to the Gospel.
If you have an interest in minimalism, detaching from material possessions, finding joy and happiness with less, you might want to watch this. It's 14 minutes long, but well worth your time.