People > Stuff

When you’re a kid, and you’ve been riding the same bike for years, it gets old. The tires start to wobble and the handle bars are a little bent and crooked because you still haven’t landed that 1080 tail-whip you’ve been working on. The seat isn’t as comfortable as it used to be, but the old bike itself still functions the way it was created to function. It will get you from point A to B in roughly the same amount of time as your new bike.

So, why the unsatisfied attitude? Why do we get that way with cars? Why do we need a new microwave with a built in feature that allows you to open it with a finger print? I guess we don’t need these new things. Maybe they’re just more exciting because they are new. New usually means different, something we aren’t used to, some challenge, something we have to adjust to, something that is not currently apart of our lives but can be and really seems like it would benefit us in some way. New creates expectation of something better in our minds.

Does it really matter that much, though? These things we buy — do they matter more than people? Who cares if you have the iPhone 17? It’s really not any different than the iPhone 16. Oh, except it lacks a headphone jack. “But it’s newwwwwwww!” The problem with wanting new stuff all the time is that we’re replacing people in our lives, people that matter, with stuff.

Remember that board game the family all got together and played? They laughed so hard they almost peed their pants. Oh, that’s right, you don’t remember because you were checking Facebook out on your new laptop. You were sitting next to your brother who was scrolling the apps on his new smart phone. Dad and mom were watching The Bachelor (it’s a fake show that stirs up lame drama focused on exactly how to fail at a relationship to attract viewers, gain ratings, and make money) on their new 55" flat screen. The HD was incredible, though.

I’m speaking at myself too, don’t worry. One thing I want to start doing is actively checking what relationships I’m taking for granted in my life. I don’t want to miss out on life-enriching conversations because of random distractions from things I own that really aren’t very important.

I’ll always have a phone, so what’s the big deal? It’s going to do what I need it to do and I don’t need to chase the next best thing to be happy. Besides, if I only had a couple days to live, would I spend my time chasing that next upgrade, or would I resonate with my loved ones? You know? It seems pretty obvious. So, why do we always think the people in our lives will always be there?

Well, part of that reason is because they’ve always been there, right? Our parents raised us, we grew up with our siblings. Our life, as we know it, has had loving people in it for a long period of time. I’ve heard people get to a point during a time of loss where they reflect upon the amount of time they’ve spent with the individual who just passed away. Sometimes they regret not saying something or spending more time with them.

To be transparent, I’m afraid of being guilty of this. I do not want to miss out on amazing opportunities with people in my life because I was distracted by stuff. New things are just that — things. There’s a reason you don’t listen to that amazing “NOW” CD from back in the 90s anymore. Sure, it’s got some classics, but it’s old news, right? It’s not a new thing anymore. It has lost some of it’s excitement and you’ve needed to move on to better and more updated music.

How many times do you hear someone say, “yeah, I’m just kind of tired of my best friend. I want a new one”. Does the importance of people’s support in our lives get old? Does having our brother or sister’s back make you want a new brother or sister? Do lasting relationships in our lives have us constantly in search for newer or better friends? Obviously not, but some say actions speak louder than words.

If actions truly do speak louder than words, why don’t we take initiative more often and show the people in our lives that they mean more than the stuff that we own?

I’m not trying to make a blanket statement that covers everybody, but there are a lot of people out there that haven’t shown their true appreciation for the people that remain supportive in their lives. As I said before, I’m guilty of falling into this category from time to time.

We get caught up in all of these new things, and we start to lose sight of the true importance in our lives. The people. I think it’s healthy to take a step back once in a while to evaluate how much time we’re spending on these very people in our lives. At the end of our life, we might be happier looking back at the lasting relationships we built, rather than the amount of things we’ve accumulated.

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