Why do we need things? What is it that makes an object so important in our lives?
Objects form our materialistic world. We need objects because they help us create memories – the perfect blend of spices in a curry cooked by mom, family time on a Sunday morning watching the only channel that came on TV, imitating Ronaldinho while playing soccer with friends – a lot of moments are formed with objects.
Often, objects reinforce how we feel about ourselves – an elegant outfit, a new phone, the first car, the first bite of chocolate – all make us feel happy momentarily.
I want to share a story of those feelings.
When I was in Kindergarten, I was fond of collecting small items – colored paper clips, perfumed erasers, decorated pens, gift wrapping ribbons, nylon thread rolls, tiny bouncy balls, WWE playing cards, Beyblade toys – anything that could remotely have some value. To make sure that I always had my valuables with me, I had placed all these items in a large briefcase. I had ‘decorated’ it like a shelf of small items, all neatly arranged in their respective compartments. The briefcase was an important part of my childhood. It was a young child’s collection of master toys which could potentially save the world.
A 5-year-old child has little idea of how briefcases are supposed to be carried. So, since the arrangement was laid out like a shelf, I used to carry it around flat, preventing it from turning and spoiling my setup. My parents have told me that I was so particular about the orientation of the items that I used to burst in tears whenever someone kept the briefcase in a standing position. I would then rearrange my kit.
So much was the value of that object that my mom wanted to preserve it. Even today, after 20 years, the briefcase has a reserved spot in our ‘Family Vintage Collection’ at home.