Life isn’t about how much stuff you manage to accumulate, it’s about how well you loved and were loved by the people who matter most. Love isn’t just THE true measure of a life well-lived, it’s the only measure that matters.
Love is the True Measure of a Life Well-Lived, Not Stuff
I saw a really great quote that goes, “No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say, ‘She had a really expensive couch and great shoes.’ Don’t make life about stuff.” I don’t know who said it first, but it’s definitely something we all need to hear.
We live in a consumer-driven world where we use the size of our bank accounts and the amount of stuff we have as a measure of a life well-lived. If we die with the most toys, we win, right? Hey, if a bumper sticker says so, it must be true!
Except it’s not. Stuff is just that…stuff. Inanimate objects that are only worth as much value as we place on them. When you consider how we humans determine what things are worth in the first place, the idea that we can use stuff to measure how well we lived our lives becomes absurd. Literally every THING on this planet that we consider valuable is only valuable because we consider it so. Does that make sense? Let me explain.
THINGS have no true value except the value we give them
Nothing that you can buy has any real value or meaning in the grand scheme of things. It’s only as valuable as we as a society decide it is. Take diamonds, for example. They’re not particularly rare. Not really even particularly beautiful compared to other more colorful (and cheaper) gemstones. Yet because De Beers told us that they were special once upon a time, we decided that the size of a diamond in a ring- rather than the actions of the person giving it to us- determined just how much our significant others love us.
What if instead of measuring our significant others’ love for us by the size of a rock they give us, we measure it by how far our heart “leaps” when we think of them? Instead of gauging our success by the name on the bottom of our shoes, we measured it by how far we walked beside loved ones while wearing them? Or instead of determining the value of a car based on its hood ornament, we determined it by how many family road trips it took us on?
People are what truly matters in life
Leon Brown once said, ‘One day you will realize that material things mean nothing. All that matters is the well-being of the people you love in your life.’ That’s about as true as it gets. At the end of our life, when we reflect back, I bet that very few of us will be thinking about all the stuff we accumulated.
Instead, we’ll think about how well we loved and were loved in return. We’ll look back and remember the good times, not what we were wearing when they happened. If you don’t believe me, try it out. Pick a happy moment. Your first kiss. The day you said, “I do.” The day you became a mom. Any wonderful memory at all. Now tell me how many pairs of shoes you had in your closet and who made each one? Unless you have a photographic memory, I’m betting you can’t answer that, because those things don’t matter compared to the memories you made that day.
The bottom line, we need to stop valuing objects that can never love us back or using them as a measure of a life well-lived. Instead, let’s start valuing the people who make it truly worth living in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a life filled with love than a closet full of stuff.