Stuff and ThingsMarch 7th, 2012 | Posted by in Inspiration
Six weeks ago we took an inventory of everything we own. This has received a curious response from friends and family, somewhere between “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” and a blank stare that says they’ll need to process for a while before knowing how to respond. Not that this is anything new to me. I seem to be eliciting that reaction more and more often these days, and while at first I was utterly confused at the lack of understanding of things I found completely normal, I have grown to embrace the bewilderment. It has led me to better appreciate both the singing and dancing of others and also the very “us-ness” of our journey. But anyway, the inventory…
The initial thought was just to make a list of the things we were going to sell including what was listed where and for how much. Not knowing which things we wanted to get rid of and which we wanted keep though, the list quickly expanded to all the things we owned, which, as it turns out, has been quite enlightening! The inventory now serves multiple purposes. In addition to helping us sort what we will donate, what we will sell, and what we will keep, and then remember what we decided about each item, it also demonstrates to us how very little our stuff is worth if we don’t want it. Sure, there’s the TV and the aquarium, which will sell on Craigslist, and the wedding photos and college diplomas that we’ll tuck away at Mom’s house, but the clothes, the dishes, the decorations? They only have value if we need them. And we don’t.
Lastly, the inventory serves as a reminder of our culture’s natural inclination to collect things far beyond necessity. I could only chuckle at the sheer ridiculousness of the number of things we own, even as a couple that lives quite simply. Then yesterday I watched this George Carlin video, and I think he does a lovely job explaining the phenomenon.