This I Believe

Harrison - Ramona, California
Entered on July 20, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: fear, purpose
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Why do people keep things that they do not need? I do not mean one or two keepsakes, or nick-nacks which can serve as decor. I mean the piles of ‘stuff’, for lack of a better word, that is found in attics and basements, holding no practical purpose except the occupation of space.

I have thought about this for some time, having one or more item that is currently aging around. See, I am still living at my parents house, holding on to some of the things of my youth. Of late, I have been doing what the business sector would call downsizing or economizing this this stuff, in spurts of one or two days every few months. I found that I had problems letting go of certain bits of the past, but it was not because I really ever intended of using those things ever again. I began to wonder, why am I keeping stuff that I know I will never use? Meanwhile, the old and broken toys were disposed of. The holey clothes two sizes two small hit the landfill. Then the papers. School papers, that I was not fond of when I wrote them, and then held no special feelings towards. Those were the last to go. I begin to wonder, why would I keep something like this?

The answer I commonly thought of was fear of dieing. But that left me without a connection. Things… dieing… not much connection there. So I just about gave up. Then, I found it. The answer to what I had been searching for. What I found was a guide to programming in 3d. I had printed it out long before I had actually looked into the more practical aspects of coding and found that the page I had printed was not what I was looking for, but that page made me think. What I was looking at was not something of value or something important, it was something that I did not use and still had not read a year after I printed it out. It had become an object without a purpose. It was a tool that I lacked the will to use, but morned the thought of throwing away. Something I thought that I would miraculously use or give to someone to use, though in its current position I would be lucky to find, let alone use. It was a weather worn (and I mean literally, the paper was under a leak in the roof) document lost in a pile of other documents of a similar nature. A piece of trash in a pile of trash. Now, why did I not want to use it, but not want to throw it away? Then, it dawned on me. I had found the reason people kept things they did not need or use. It was not fear of dieing. The reason is this: With the stuff, people are afraid of what they shall not do. This I believe.