There is a natural sense of entitlement and ownership which comes with being human, and I think it’s important to recognize when it’s getting out of control. We are not defined by what we own, but by who we are and how we exist in this world. What would change if you were stripped of all belongings, save perhaps a burlap sack to wear in lieu of clothing? Would your friends still hang around you? Would your family look at you the same way? And most importantly – would YOU still love and respect yourself?
In the United States we are truly fortunate. Of course, we have our social issues, economic problems, etcetera. However, I’ve learned through my travels and experiences that we are certainly a community which is plentiful. In fact, we have such a plethora of necessity that one of our nation’s greatest concerns is obesity. Our food, way of getting around, and way of life are so relaxing and easy in comparison to most humans on this earth that we have an INFLUX of what we need and want. With this, we also have no limits on owning things. Clothes, cars, houses, land, animals, books, technology, the list goes on. But to what end are these amenities available? Are they truly enriching us, or are they crippling us? What if being wealthy actually impoverishes the soul?
I love simplicity. I worked in an industry of extravagance and luxury, so I can understand why people are drawn to nice things. However, there’s just something beautiful about a little thing that means a lot.. An act of kindness, a meaningful word, a tight hug, an uncontrollable fit of laughter, a knowing look – these are the things I will take to the grave, not a diamond pendant. In getting rid of my belongings so I can embark on this life adventure and journey, I am realizing the triviality of owning things. The more I let go, the freer I am. This calls to mind the epiphany that we are not owners of anything, really. We are simply borrowing things here and there along the road of life, and then returning them once we leave. I know, it’s a bit unrealistic to say that one mustn’t own things. Being nude in public could be quite offensive to some, after all. But I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that money isn’t everything and that we all should focus on other things in life. Take a moment, close your eyes, and strip yourself of all things; what is left is what you really are.