Humans are obsessed with inanimate objects. We center our lives on the collection of these inanimate objects, we worship these objects, and we sometimes will kill for these objects. It’s not enough to have a lot of objects; they must be the right kind of objects. 10,000 diamonds carry a level of prestige that 10,000 plastic forks do not. One will gain you the label of ‘rich’; one will gain you the label of ‘hoarder’.
It’s safe to say that as the perceived value of an object increases, the volume in which you can accrue that object can also increase, whilst society still deeming it acceptable. This is also true of what is considered acceptable in the pursuit to obtain these objects. The more perceived value the object has, the more you will allow yourself to do in order to obtain the objects. Tell them that the amount of importance I place on objects is directly correlated to what society says I must place on them. No more, no less.
My treasure is not in the collection of objects; but in the collection of experiences, relationships, and memories. If, someday, I am on my death bed poor in objects but rich in experiences, wealthy in relationships, and my synapses are still firing at a rate to recall both of those things in the form of memories – then I will consider myself a success. The best part about this philosophy? The aforementioned rules pertaining to the collection of objects do not apply to the collection of experiences, relationships, and memories.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on May 20, 2014.
Marty is a veteran of the 1st Ranger Battalion and Syracuse Recruiting Battalion, a former small business owner, the author of Violence of Action: The Untold Stories of the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War on Terror (Blackside Publishing) as well as Ranger Knowledge: The Complete Study Guide (St. Martins Press). He is also the executive producer of the award-winning documentary Nomadic Veterans, and the award-winning short-narrative Prisoner of War. He is currently working on his third book as well as pursuing a career in film and television.