We are buried under an avalanche of STUFF. Bed Bath and Beyond specializes in selling it, along with myriad other retailers. Our culture has arrived at a place where "Shopping" is a PASSTIME! ("Let's go shopping"....) No particular need. Just stuff.
How did we get here??
Starting with the invention of the light bulb, our American culture has developed a level of "comfort" that has caused us to buy more and more things. Mass production, brought about by Henry Ford and the assembly line, made it infinitely easier to produce comforts. With the return of all the troops after WWII, and the baby boom, all kinds of things that made our lives "....so much easier...!". Dishwashing machines, vacuum cleaners, and air conditioning all made things more "comfortable". And our prosperity as a country allowed the evolution of a very strong "middle class". As we grew more and more pampered, we found ourselves wanting to "keep up with the Joneses" and always have more than anyone else. High fashion, jewelry, interior decor, glittering parties....all become necessities, not elective. (In our minds only, of course). If we consider how the prairie life allowed only THE most basic necessities, and compare that with the ability to simply "throw things away", we can begin to understand. The ease of throwing anything at all in the trashcan started us on a road of waste and expenditure that began to overtake us, and our environment. But that's the subject of another posting.