I sometimes wonder if we do not give our stuff enough credit, or if we are made to feel ashamed when we do. Cliches like “You can’t take it with you when you die,” abound.
If you are one of those people who does not believe in any sort of afterlife, the reality is that you also can’t take your friends, family, or self with you when you die. Even the more religious types would do well to hold their material possessions with more appropriate esteem. Let me explain.
The act of possessing things is one of the few things that separates human beings from animals. We augment ourselves with clothes, tools, and weapons. Humans live in the world by adding things to improve ourselves or alter the world around us. You might even go so far as to say that human beings are cyborgs by nature. We add material things to our flesh and blood to live in the world.
In this sense, our possessions are not mere passing trifles. Our things help make us who we are and get us where we need to go. I began writing this post on my Galaxy Note 4, which has brought a great deal of joy to my life. It is attractive to look at and pleasant to hold. It connects me with people I love and helps keep my scattered brain moving efficiently through life. It is important to me.
Several years ago I purchased a 9mm Springfield XD semi-automatic sub-compact handgun. It has enabled me to feel more secure in frightening situations and has also given me a connection to others who are enthusiastic about firearm-related martial arts.
My computer does much of what my phone does, only faster and better and less mobile. As a Christian and a student of the Bible, my computer has greatly enriched my life and my faith by allowing me to use my very limited time to gain tremendous insight using Bible software. My XBox and previous game consoles I have owned have opened doors to new friendships, and have also allowed me to experience interactive stories and challenges that have shaped who I am.
One of my favorite possessions is my computer. Without it I wouldn’t be able to have any economical entertainment, and it is vital for business/job related functions. By far the best several hundred dollars I’ve ever spent. – Isaac
I also have in my possession a guitar that used to belong to my grandfather, which does still make beautiful sounds, even under my untrained fingers. However, it brings even greater joy because it reminds me of my grandfather and his valiant, yet futile attempts to teach me how to play.
One of my favorite possessions is my wedding ring. Its a reminder to me of the person who makes my life complete. – Tone
That being said, there are also things I own that do not bring me joy. I have a lot of junk that I would like to see go on down the road. Some of it may have brought joy at some point, but it has served its purpose and it is time for it to move on. Life is not about having more and more stuff, but there is something to be said about only having stuff that makes you happy.
It might not be too much to say that to be human is to be materialistic. Our stuff is deeply tied up with who we are and what we do. We might do well to think higher of our things and be thankful for the many blessings they bring.
We also need to be more critical of our possessions. Our things should have a purpose and should add to our happiness. Those items that are a burden or a drain on us should be dealt with. Current cultural trends push us to have more while at the same time not appreciating what we have. Valuing our material possessions might just be a good way to protect against rampant consumerism.
What about you? What are some of your favorite possessions? Leave a comment below!