Our money, ourselves

Posted: April 16, 2005 in Uncategorized

Money and material wealth has been on my mind a lot lately. After gradually whittling away my resources over the past couple months with traffic tickets, bills, and small but numerous incidentals, I barely made it through this week with only $21 to spare. But I survived no worse the wear, and in fact hit a stroke of luck and came out better than I was.

Over the past couple months, various events have made me focus on what I find important in the things outside myself. Friends’ houses have been burglarized, money has gotten tight, and I listed and prioritized my material wants. In making my list, I realized how few there were, at least, few real wants. There are many things I can want with no real purpose, other than their novelty and the aim of idle enjoyment. But truly, of the things I have now, very little is missing that holds me back from my goals. This realization has lead to two things: a true feeling of seperation of self and posessions, and the desire for simplification and honing of purpose of my posessions.

As a precaution during the height of the rash of burglaries, I took the time to document the more expensive items in my house for insurance reasons. In doing so, I found that if my things were stolen, I wouldn’t really miss any of them. Either insurance would cover their replacement, in which case I’d have completely new things, or they wouldn’t cover all or any of it, and I would be more precise about what I replaced. But the thing I would miss would be my information stored on my computers; my photos, emails, and documents that comprised so much of my life and time over the years. These things are not quite posessions and not quite a part of me, rather things that help me recall what is difficult to remember and gets lost as we’re barraged with more and more information. Everything else is not defining of me, merely a means to a purpose.

The means themselves I find are often lost in excess; many little things quickly become something large and unwieldy. Getting lost in the pursuit of something can often make us accumulate more than we intended, and having it become so much a part of our lives, we lose sight of the fact that it is no longer useful or necessary. The ability to hone posessions into the fewest and most purposeful is very gratifying to me, and I find it in turn makes my desires that much more purposeful.

These things, these items, these objects can give us freedom, and they can bind us. I refuse to bind myself with idle intent.

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Comments
  1. muffster says:

    that was beautiful and right on. it is not the things in life that are important. it is the people and experiences. 😡

  2. Anonymous says:

    that was beautiful and right on. it is not the things in life that are important. it is the people and experiences. 😡

  3. rhinoblues says:

    i definitely feel that way about things lately…partially from my complete lack of job stability lately…and partially from a desire to be different from my mom…who very much cares about material things.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i definitely feel that way about things lately…partially from my complete lack of job stability lately…and partially from a desire to be different from my mom…who very much cares about material things.

  5. a_wags says:

    I agree.
    I think our society is so focused on gaining matieral objects and wealth believing this will fill some void or emptiness in us[meaning as an individual, or as a society]. In my short time here on earth I have learned one thing; money can be lost as fast as it is earned, that matieral objects creat illusions of social classes; all replaceable and really when it comes down to it, without those, make us all exactly the same. The only thing that really matters imo in this life, is the things we cannot see: love, grace, truth, compassion, honesty and the undying beauty of human good.
    I really believe that what we own, owns us, it chains us down and keeps us as financial slaves to the western world; creating debt, stress, pressure etc. Which is maybe why I am such a commitment phobe when it comes to matieral things: cars, houses, labels on my clothing– because in truth- it is not was defines us or makes us unique, its the people, places and experiences in our lives which truly shape our beings.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I agree.

    I think our society is so focused on gaining matieral objects and wealth believing this will fill some void or emptiness in us[meaning as an individual, or as a society]. In my short time here on earth I have learned one thing; money can be lost as fast as it is earned, that matieral objects creat illusions of social classes; all replaceable and really when it comes down to it, without those, make us all exactly the same. The only thing that really matters imo in this life, is the things we cannot see: love, grace, truth, compassion, honesty and the undying beauty of human good.

    I really believe that what we own, owns us, it chains us down and keeps us as financial slaves to the western world; creating debt, stress, pressure etc. Which is maybe why I am such a commitment phobe when it comes to matieral things: cars, houses, labels on my clothing– because in truth- it is not was defines us or makes us unique, its the people, places and experiences in our lives which truly shape our beings.

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