Things With Steph Pham – A Post Inspired By Zac Levi


 

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the material bonds which have connected them with stuff…

Can we just take a moment and reflect on how deep and philosophically challenging Zac made this post?

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I like that he didn’t make it easy. I like to be intellectually challenged, so yes Zac,

 

As someone who’s seen the dark side of materialism and consumerism, I can attest that materialism and consumerism culture can have a negative impact.

When I first moved to Norman, Oklahoma my family went through a very tough time. We weren’t as well off as the other students at my new school. My first day, the guidance counselor paired me up with a “guide” or “buddy” to get accustomed to the school. Little to my knowledge, she paired me up with someone who was in the upper elite. The young girl was sweet, but I wouldn’t last in that group. These kids were the type of students who had cell phones before the era that everyone had one. They were also the type to show up to school with a hundred dollar bill randomly in their pocket. As soon as they found out I lived in the housing area, they disbanded me from their circle, and I was sent off to another yet another band of kids who weren’t really “my kind.” This game of human hacky sack went on until I was in 8th grade and found some fellow peers I could call friends.

I didn’t tell that story to play the pity card but to tell you that materialism showed up even in the early stages of my life. As a millennial, we grew up in an age where your possessions and lifestyles defined you rather than your character and who you are as a human. That mentality existed before my time, and it definitely exists today. It’s completely unfortunate.

I’ve seen students within my district who maybe aren’t as financially sound as others, but they are SO creatively gifted. They write these poignant poems, or they create really great stories on film that some people don’t get to learn how to do until college.

When I think of material bounds, and how it affects my life I think of all the opportunities I could of have. I mean, Broadway HD alone. That was my dream job, but thanks to multiple credit cards along with many other forms of debt I wasn’t able to relocate. I don’t often live in regret because I believe everything in life has a purpose. However, I do wish I was smarter in my past about my spending choices. Because what do I need to spend my life on? Things or life experiences?

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A large portion of my credit card debt went to dance travel in the past three years. Do I regret it? Not one bit. I went after something I loved to do. I made numerous friendships I wouldn’t have otherwise if I didn’t expand beyond my four walls.

To conclude I’ll go full circle, and speak on two things Zac has said. The first one from his interview with Vanity Fair.

Stuff is one thing. People that’s a whole other thing. Go and be kind. Be good to people. That’s the most important thing in this world. We all gotta get along, and we all have to be good to one another.

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Succinctly put, in a chaotic time we’re in, surrounding ourselves with good people builds up a life, not stuff (even though I would KILL to play with Zac’s Oculus Rift, just sayin’ :P).

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I always had this mentality that because I didn’t have Kim Kardashian’s “paper” or her Bently or ass for that matter, I wasn’t going to end up with the guys I pursued. Zac’s 100% right, fuck the people that find value and worth in materialism and vapid things rather than getting to really know someone. That’s what all the boys (and yes they’re boys because real men don’t reject someone based on superficial things like looks and clothes, etc.) who turned me down did. Now, as an adult, NAY, GROWN woman, I can fully say that anyone who judges you based on what you own or what you wear is a flying piece of shit. Real value is exactly what he says – someone’s kindness, character, and most importantly heart.

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