I was reminded today of the value of people and how, in comparison to material possessions it is individual human beings who matter. Of course I have always known this but it was the breakage of two of my ornaments which brought it home to me afresh.
My cleaning lady called, obviously very worried to let me know that she had accidentally knocked two ornaments (a set of pigeons and a plate) off the shelf on which they sit. I won’t pretend that I wasn’t a little sad that two of my ornaments had been damaged, however a few pieces of broken china pale into insignificance in comparison to the loss of a much loved animal or (more importantly) a family member or friend.
I remember the sudden and wholly unexpected death of my former guide dog, Drew last March. For a long time following Drew’s death other things (work etc) paled into insignificance in comparison with the death of my much loved friend. We had been together since June 2005 and suddenly to have her waggy and affectionate personality removed was a huge shock, in comparison to which a few broken pieces of china are neither here nor there.
A dear friend of mine was top of his profession and for various reasons lost his home (indeed he nearly became homeless) and yet he got through it. He is one of the nicest people one can meet and talking to him has reinforced in me the inner knowledge that it is people, not material things which matter when push comes to shove.
I’m not advocating that we all return to living in caves and throw away those things of beauty (pictures etc) which we value. Material artifacts help to beautify life and can be an expression of human creativity. I, for example have several hand carved wooden boxes which I derive tremendous pleasure from touching (being blind touch is very important to me), however such objects can’t provide the warmth and companionship which I obtain from my friends.
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