To a child, a mountain of toys is more than something to trip over. It’s a topographical map of their emerging worldview. The mountain, casting a large symbolic shadow, means “I can choose this toy, or that, or this one way down here, or that: They are all mine! But there are so many that none of them have value. I must want something else!” This worldview shapes their emotional landscape as well; children given so very many choices learn to undervalue them all, and hold out – always – for whatever elusive thing isn’t offered. “
– Kim John Payne, M. ED., in Simplicity Parenting
Hm. Is he talking about children and their toys, or adults in our society as a whole?
(What’s that, you say? Those children grow up to become those adults? Well, why didn’t I think of that?)