My post last week in which I babbled about stuff prompted a reply from deepali at her blog asking what are you trying to say?. This reminded me of a couple other posts I’ve read and enjoyed on other blogs like Social Proof and Flying Without a Net at On Simplicity and also You Are Not Your Stuff, Your Stuff Is Not You at My Two Dollars.
So, the consensus seems to be that our stuff doesn’t define us. But we have to face that what we choose to buy, the things we surround ourselves with and how we live do speak things about us. They tell people who meet us things about us. The point that I like from paradigm shifted is that we have to purposefully choose to make those things meaningful. If we really take into consideration what something says about us and decide if it is speaking truthfully about who we are deep down before acquiring it, that is a step in the direction of being true to who we are.
As I replied in the comments to her, there are things that we can think of ourselves and try to portray in our decisions about lifestyle and objects that surround us, but we can’t control what other people’s impressions of those things will be. Some people will think one thing of what I have and another person could think something entirely different.
Which is why I think it’s so important to stay true to yourself. You can’t please everyone. You can’t force everyone to see you for what you are trying to say about yourself. At the end of the day, yes, our stuff talks about us. But I refuse to get hung up on what my stuff says to each individual around me. My opinion of myself matters most. If my things reflect who I feel I am and what I want to be, along with what my values are, that is what matters above anyone else’s opinion.
What do you say? Feel free to chime in with your thoughts about how we must battle the influence of others on our choices. It is, afterall, much easier to say that others don’t influence who we are or how we choose to live than to live it.