Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005
"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have."
--Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel (1907-1990)
I have to admit it, I love spoons. I love their round shape. I love their cheerful shine. I love how perfectly they fit into your mouth when you eat something smooth like ice cream or pudding or even when you eat something tummy warming like hot soup.
I love spoons because they are functional as well as beautiful. Eating breakfast cereal just wouldn't be the same experience without them. I enjoy using them very much and always opt for a small, round, silvery spoon anytime it makes sense.
One day, my husband came upon me silently admiring a beautiful sugar spoon from our new 'fancy' silverware collection. I was thrilled with how the bottom of it was artfully shaped like a sea shell. He thought I was nuts.
I realized I feel this way about lots of object in my world. I admire platters, vases, paintings, rugs, blankets, curtains, you name it. Am I materialistic? I suppose on a certain level I am. Here's my philosophy on stuff: I take great pleasure in appreciating the personal possessions that grace my life.
I have profound gratitude for the convenient services my belongings regularly provide me. I even thank them occasionally (when no one is around). I really do appreciate all they do for me and recognize that I could just as easily not have the privilege of their presence in my life.
Along those lines, I make efforts to use them. I no longer horde my favorite things in a closet only taking them out once or twice a year, living in fear of their potential demise. These are beautiful objects! Who am I to hide their splendor from view? They deserve every opportunity to be appreciated.
Should something meet an untimely end, I am sad. But I also thank them for their loyal service for as long as they existed, and use their passing as an opportunity to bring another beautiful, dutiful item into service.
Now, having said this, I do not purchase $1000 spoons or $500 ceramic vases. If one is prepared to replace broken items one must be operating with one's own financial comfort zone. However, ask yourself: would you rather own an expensive item that you rarely enjoy or own something within your financial means that you enhances your life days on end?
I am offering, I suppose, a slightly different view of materialism. It's a different way of looking at the objects in your world, one where you have a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
I know, you're thinking, "she's really gone off the deep end this time." But honestly, this perspective encourages you to notice the beauty surrounding you and the conveniences you enjoy and be grateful for them. This in turn brings positive feelings into your life, what I call Material Contentment.
The next time you eat with a nice spoon or sit on a soft sofa, take a moment to realize how lucky you are to be the guardian of such an object. Has it been loyal in service to you? Have you shown it respect and admiration in return?
Today is a great day to start talking to inanimate objects. Why not begin by saying "Thanks" to your favorite piece of silverware?
About the Author
Deirdre McEachern's passion is helping her clients achieve their dreams. She believes strongly that you can find a career you enjoy, express your natural talents and have a life!