Collecting. Why do we want all this stuff? What is the point? Are we insecure? Too secure?
Materialistic? Definitely. But is a respect for ‘material’ really such a bad thing after all?
Think about it. Most of the damage to our physical world has been done by people with not enough respect for material. To care about material and its conservation is to be a good steward of our planet. We’re on the right side of history here, collectors!
With collecting, there’s a hoarding instinct at work, too, I suppose. Some of us have it worse than others. If all your stuff is packed away in boxes and you never even see it, you have it pretty bad.
Some of us just love the chase—the endless searching through
yard sales, flea markets, antique malls, thrift stores, etc. to find
something to add
to our collection. It keeps us out of trouble. And being free-thinkers
and non-conformists generally, we are the sort of
people who need to be kept out of trouble.
As collectors, we learn to know quality when we see it—
wherever we see it—without being hyped by tags or packaging or sales
To the non-collector, most of what we collectors cherish is just junk. But let me say a word about junk. Once the “latest thing” has been stripped of its packaging and price tag, used a little bit, then deposited on the ground at the local swap meet to be bought and sold on nothing but its merit, its true value becomes apparent. And so we see that most of the glitsy stuff everyone just had to have last year turns out to be just junk after all. We collectors see this all the time.
experience, always seem ready to give us advice about our ‘junk’ while
on their way out to the mall to buy more of those ‘latest things’ they
spend their money on. We just smile.
What about the “manufactured collectible?” I'm thinking here
of new items intended for the collectibles market, things like
Hummels, Precious Moments, Beanie Babies, Lladro statues, you
the products of the Franklin Mint, Walt Disney Classics
Collection, etc. There's nothing wrong with
those things if you like those things
for just what they are. But as collectibles,
my cardinal rules:
If it was made to collect, it isn’t collectible. Anything deliberately
made for collecting purposes above all else is just not right in my
book. I guess I just don’t like being told
what to collect. My simple creed is this: Don’t collect
anything that someone else
hasn’t, at one time or another,
thrown out first.