Questions before you buy

Whenever I consider adding a new object to my inventory, I try to answer the following questions. If more than one question leads to a negative answer, I give it some more thoughts.

  • Do I really need this object?
  • Do I really want this object?
  • Which other object could I buy should I not buy this one?
  • Can I use this object for multiple purposes?
  • Is the model for this object the very best that I can afford?
  • Is this object well designed?
  • Is this object beautiful?
  • Is this object pleasant to touch, hold, or wear?
  • Will this object age gracefully?
  • Is this object easy to transport?
  • Is this object easy to replace?

The last question deserves some explanations: one might think that the objects that you want to keep are by definition the objects that are difficult to replace, and one would be right in thinking that. But this would apply to the objects that one owns already. For any new object, one would be well advised to focus one’s attention on objects that can be easily replaced, because it will reduce the fear of losing the object because of theft, negligence, or disaster.

Therefore, my inventory includes a couple of memorabilia items, like the miner’s lamp I got when I graduated from my engineering school, my old passports, and my wedding ring. Everything else I own can be replaced easily, and that gives me peace of mind. In fact, I can also replace my miner’s lamp and my wedding ring, and I have scanned all the pages of my old passports, just in case…


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