I had lunch with an old friend a week before Christmas. I asked him if he had finished his Christmas shopping. He said that he had.
He asked me if I had completed mine. Turns out that my shopping list this year was pretty short, I told him, as the wife and I had decided to sponsor a child in Africa instead of buying each other presents (we're so great). I explained that we’re also hoping to sell our house and move this spring, so we’re trying to downsize our possession collection. And besides, I added, we’ve become too bogged down with stuff: books, movies, video games...
His incredulous reply: “Stuff is the best.”
I thought about it, and he’s right. Stuff is great. I just wish I could figure out how to take it with me.
I spoke with another friend a few nights ago. Several months earlier I told him that we were considering discontinuing our cable television service. He was shocked (he gasped when I told him). During our most recent conversation, he described several of the things he’d been or would be watching (he was most excited about the New Years Day outdoor NHL hockey game in which Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo in a shootout and the family-friendly series Cheaters).
After describing these in some detail, he paused to take a breath and exclaimed: “Television is awesome!”
These two are true friends, reminding me of what’s important in this world, what my true priorities should be: material encumbrances and passive audio-visual stimulation.