If Your Home Was on Fire, What Would You Save?

Feb 20, 2018 | 0 comments

Buddha meditatingIf your house was on fire and you had one minute to grab any item, what would you take and why? National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition Sunday featured an interview with actresses Ellen Burstyn and Amber Tamblyn talking with host Lulu Garcia-Navarro about their latest film project, Nostalgia.

In this seven-and-a-half minute interview, they discuss the value we place on the objects in our lives. The ensemble cast includes Jon Hamm and Catherine Keener, among many others, weaving together multiple stories with a thread of shared possessions and household items: family jewelry, a baseball, other objects.

It provides a great meditation on the legacy we hand down to our children. Does an object that was owned by one’s great-grandmother or grandfather and handed down through the family have value? What endows it with value?

As Ellen Burstyn noted, the Buddha talks about the importance of letting go. How much investment do you have in certain objects? Letting go can be freeing.

Listen to the interview here:

Kicking the Bucket List CoverIf you need some help letting go of objects that have become clutter, check out KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die. This award-winning book is two-thirds about creative ways to pare down clutter, and one-third about preparing for end-of-life issues. MORE INFORMATION HERE.

Here’s the first tip in the book, advice from the Buddha:

You can’t take it with you. The Buddha observed that attachments are at the root of all suffering. Americans are really good at acquiring. We’re not very good at letting go. We become anxious and stressed trying to hold on to people and products in a constantly changing world.

Attachment to stuff causes suffering. Our stuff represents our history, an accumulation that marks who we think we are. When we recognize change is constant, that all we really have is the present moment, we can learn to let go of our attachments to objects representing the past.

Letting go of those things that don’t serve us, we can distance ourselves from the discontentment and dissatisfaction that stuff we don’t love fosters. Buy KICKING THE BUCKET LIST on Amazon!

A Good Goodbye