Just Because We Have Stuff, Doesn’t Imply We Have Meaning.
Updated: Nov 3, 2021
There are a thousand reasons why, but we live in a world - a culture - that often substitutes time
and love with ‘stuff.’ I’m not here to judge the single mother working two jobs or the intern
putting in the extra hours. Certain phases of life and circumstances require that we spend time
away from the people and pursuits we love.
Outside of necessity, however, we are encouraged to put our time into things and stuff that are
proxies for what we value, especially when the things we love bring us some kind of pain. Too
much TV because we lack the energy to engage or buying useless shit because packages at
the door make us feel valid or having the extra drink because work sucks; We are all guilty. It’s
human. Meaning does not come readily. Whatever placeholder we use, our unhappiness is temporarily dulled, but we are ultimately left feeling fallow and flawed. The desperate emptiness leads us back to our stuff and the cycle repeats itself.
If we are to break this reliance on cheap imitations of wholeness, we must be deliberate with our
time in two ways. First, we must look towards meaningful tasks, use our talents to energize
and restore us, and follow through with the things we love to do. Second, we must use our time to
connect to the people we love. We all know this instinctively, as social creatures. When
someone gives us their time, we are gifted with a feeling of wholeness and importance. Giving
our time to others provides them with the same feeling.
A healthy sense of self, and in time, our purpose, are created by the reciprocal relationship
between the people and activities to whom we give our time. In turning away from the brief relief of stuff, and returning to who and what we value, our lives become significant and our talents become important. Are you ready to find meaning and value in your life?