Another Hollywood cautionary tale?
No. Shadyac gave up his excess possessions by choice.
As someone who chooses to live a pretty modest life (small apartment, few possessions) I still often feel that I have too much stuff. Like Lucinda in Peter Carey's stunning novel Oscar and Lucinda, I feel lighter when I can give stuff away. (READ IT, if you haven't!)
When I see huge mansions, I wonder, what's the point? After you have a living room and office, playroom and bedroom for each of your family members (even that list seems excessive) why would you need more?
I sponsor two children, one in Mexico and one in Zambia. They are delightful children, and survive on much less than we do (obviously). As I drive through the River Oaks area of Houston, I think ... how much could these people give away to children like Bexaide and Barley? How much could they reduce their carbon footprint? Why don't they?
And then I sigh.
Because I don't want to judge others, yet I find it so hard. And I judge myself at times, for buying things I don't need and for wasting more than I should.
So, here's the crucial question: What do I need to be happy and productive? Would a cottage be enough? Meaningful work and loving friends? Do I even need books? And what about TV? - I seriously love TV.
What do you need?