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Posted by on Jan 30, 2011 | 2 comments

When your worth depends on material possessions

Some time ago, a friend told me he wanted to invite several of his high school friends to his house.  He was going to pay to watch one of those big boxing events in his TV.  He wanted to use the moment to reunite with old friends.  For some reason, he looked worried.

Me:  What is going on?  It will be fun to have all your friends at home.

Him: I am not sure I want to invite them.  I thought about calling them but I am not sure anymore.

Me: Why?

Him: Because they seem to be interested in talking about how many things they have.  They talk about their trucks, clothes and houses.  Then, they start asking all of these inappropriate questions to find information about what you have done after high school.  I feel like my worth as a person is determined by how many material possessions I have.

After listening, I totally understood him.  I have been in that position too.  All I have to say is that, for me, situations like that are heartbreaking.

What you want to do when you haven’t seen a person for a long time?  In my case, after the hugs and kisses, I want to know how is that person “doing”.  And by “doing”, I am referring to how that person is living life.  Are you healthy? Are you happy?  How is your family? Do you have a family of your own now?  Where are you living?  What have been your life experiences?  What have you learned from life?  Are you a different person now?  Those are the things I want to know.  I want to be able to reconnect with that person after years of absence in his/her life.  And, of course, I want to remember the moments we shared together in the past.  The funny, the odd or the scary.  I don’t know if it just me but I am not interested in how many things that person has.  If I want to know about people with money, I can stay home and watch MTV’s Cribs. Because, if you tell me about your things, what that tells me about you as a person?

But, apparently, not everybody thinks like me.  Sometimes when you arrange a meeting with your friends, it turns into a “Let see who is the most successful person in here” contest.  In order to participate you have to talk nonstop about all the things you have acquired during your adult life.  I have a house with a pool, a Jacuzzi and a 4 car garage.  I make 150,000 a year.  I shop at exclusive retailers.  Let’s go to the parking lot.  I am going to show you my new super, extra big SUV.  Oh, I was looking for my Chapstick in my purse and I found a stack of 25 pictures of my 2 houses on 2 different states (this line is inspired by a real life event).   The other way to gain points involves the use of questions to make your opponents look like losers.  Ask derogatory, insensitive and inappropriate questions to discover your opponent weaknesses.

And after listening to all this rubbish, you ask yourself, where all my dear friends went (this is the heartbreaking part)?  I want to be with my friends but I can’t find them.  The saddest part is that I may never see them again.  What I understood is that life is like that.  Some people’s lives are defined for what they have.  They breathe for their possessions.  Nothing matters more than this.  People you know are not immune to this.  Sometimes there is nothing you can do for them.

All of this may sound awful but you know it happens, maybe every day.  I want to ask you, are you participating in the contest?  Are you wasting your precious time with family and friends because you are talking nonstop about how many great things you have?  Are you hurting your love ones while trying to put yourself over them?

No matter what others believe, your worth as a person is not defined by your material possessions.  Who I am to say something like this?  Well, let’s think a little bit in here.  Things are here today but we don’t know if they are going to be here tomorrow.  If you put all your faith in the things you have, then your life is going to be over when they are not around anymore.  Life is more than transitory things.  If you don’t believe this, you are missing a lot.

Next time you see someone you haven’t seen in a long time, show them the real you (your heart).  Hug her, kiss her, tell her that you always remember her.  I am sure she will recognize you.


  1. Hola Ruth!
    I loved it! Please let’s get together!!! I always remember my high school friends. 🙂

  2. What is the alternate answer to how is your worth determined if not by material possessions?

    I arrived at this published note looking for an answer, and I don’t find it here.

    Kind Regards.


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