|Austell, GA, September 30, 2009 -- Household possessions and debris are placed at the curb of this flood affected home following the September severe storms and flooding. George Armstrong/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
My posts over the past month have taken a look at material possessions and those collections we amass over the years. George Carlin humorously calls these things "stuff" and I think this how most of us often think of the possessions we accumulate. It's a bunch of things to which we have attached some sort of significance. Sometimes we remember why we kept things and at other times we may look at something only to think to ourselves, "Why did I keep this?".
A house is a cozy place that provides us shelter for our families and a place to keep our possessions until we figure out exactly what we are going to do with them. And more often than not those things stay where we tucked them away until they get shuffled around to another part of our house. Or perhaps to another house that we move to. Downsizing can be a lot of work that can tax us mentally and emotionally.
However, that being said, the stuff in our houses can provide as much comfort as meatloaf and mashed potatoes or whatever food it is that makes you feel safe and warm inside. The words "mine" and "ours" give us a sense of identity and security. Even homeless people are often seen pushing carts of stuff or toting burdens of material goods on their backs. They too want the security of ownership, but they lack a house in which to put their property. Those of us with houses can have more stuff. The bigger the house the more potential stuff we can own.
The beauty of habitating in some sort of dwelling is that we can find many places to put our aggregations of life. Or is that the ugly side that shows a certain sense of greed and love of materialism. Whatever the case may be, at least we have options of putting our things into rooms, closets, cubby spaces, or stuff-holding components disguised as furniture. These things may be neatly placed with organized intent, tossed in randomly, or a combination of the two storage styles.
The place we call home is the place where our stuff is. To lose one's home through fire or natural disaster must be devastating for most people to whom this happens. On the other hand maybe it's a feeling of release--liberation from the possessions that hold us hostage, keep us prisoner. I don't want to ever know the feeling of having my material life wrested from me. I want to keep the stuff that helps make my house my home. Or at least keep it until I decide what I'm going to do with all of it.
Do you ever feel like a captive of the things you own? Does ownership of material goods help you to feel better about yourself and provide you a sense of comfort? Do you tend to have more things if you have more places to put them? Have you ever experienced a tragic loss of possessions? What happened and how did you feel in the aftermath?