“Men are not great or small because of their
material possessions. They are great or
small because of what they are.”
— James Cash Penney
“I conceive that the great part of the miseries
of mankind are brought upon them by false
estimates they have made of the value of things.”
— Benjamin Franklin
I have a serious pile of possessions and it is funny to me how little value the vast majority of them have to me now. I learned to value possessions from my mother and TV. I always tried to buy things that were quality because I always considered them as assets that could be turned back into cash. Of course, you know by reading this that this philosophy is seriously flawed. An extremely small number of things go up in value in one lifetime and only few more things even remain close to the same. The reality is that they depreciate dramatically, so they couldn’t be considered an asset in the right thinking world.
As I look around my room and see a lot of things, lately I ask myself this question: “If I were to just get up and leave and never come back, leaving all there is here, what is it that I would really and truly miss?” My answer is very few things. Very, very few.
It is a materialistic world; or a consumer society. We buy things, bring them home, we may even use them for a while, then they go into storage. The off-site storage business is a multi-billion dollar business in the United States. Just looking at how many are in my city is amazing. I’ve been renting one for a lot of years and storing it with things that can almost all be replaced by money, and yet spend more than they could be replaced for to pay the storage for a year. This is silliness, but the storage places are full, so I’m not alone. We love our things.
I’ve probably bought over 1,000 music CD’s, hundreds of cassettes, music albums, and 8-track tapes. Of course, I love music, so I got a lot of enjoyment out of them over the years. Once I’ve listened to them once, maybe twice, there they sit for years.
I’ve spent more money on one thing than any other: books and audio books. I’m sure I’ve spent in the tens of thousands over the years and still have a library of about 3,000 books. Learning is something that is so important to me, that I feel totally comfortable with every cent I’ve ever spent on books. Of course, once I’ve read them, they hold little value, but the value I received by reading them is priceless.
I’ve had lots of cars, all kinds of furniture and every other kind of thing that we all own, and the things that are being used are important now, but the hanging on to them is a questionable practice.
As my mother demonstrated to me, her value was in things, how many she had and the quality of them, and so she has such a hard time letting any of them go. I inherited some of that and probably more than I will admit; however, I have learned the most important thing: my value is not in anything that I own outwardly, it is what I am, and who I have become. I know that I can walk away from every possession I have ever owned and be comfortable with me. Regardless of the things and their current or future value, I celebrate that lesson and am absolutely grateful for it.
My Value Is In Me And It Is Constantly And Continually Rising In Value.
Spread Some Joy Today–Consider your increase in value as you grow, learn and become. Celebrate from time to time to mark the improvement in your value.