The Great Collectors

We all have stuff. Things, objects, possessions. Some have much, while others have little. The size of your possession collection is usually irrelevant because over time, no matter what we own, an interesting phenomenon begins to occur between us and our things: the things we own slowly begin to own us.

You see, we have a growing collection of stuff in our home, a mobile collection of stuff in our vehicle, and even a portable collection of stuff in our bags. The idea of traveling without luggage, being on the other side of town without your car, or even forgetting your bag at home probably makes you a little stressed at just the thought. We like our things, and we like them close.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I love designer sunglasses and Nikes. I love watches and Apple products. I love Tumi luggage, and I’m certain I would absolutely love a Mercedes-Benz.

You could argue that there are cheaper alternatives, and I could argue that if you’re going to buy something it should be the best. Neither argument matters, however, in light of the fact that regardless of price or function, I’m still building a collection of things, and if I’m not careful, those things begin to own me.

How does it own you? #

Think about it. It’s painful when something we own breaks. It’s frustrating when an item from our collection turns up missing. It is borderline depressing when a part of our carefully curated personal exhibit is stolen. Why? Maybe because these things have a stronger hold on us than we have on them.

Is it possible to own stuff without it eventually owning you? I think so. In many ways, the truest sign of wealth is found in someone’s ability to shrug and keep moving when their sunglasses get mangled or their favorite shirt gets torn. Not because they don’t care, but because to them it was only an object they owned, and not the other way around. That mindset doesn’t happen accidentally. We have to work for it.

Owning stuff is fine. Don’t let your stuff own you.


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