Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Life Lesson: It's Just a Thing

This morning a friend and I somehow got onto the discussion of life lessons, and I shared one from my college days.

My friend Lisa is from Florida and loves all things having to do with the ocean, most especially sea manatees. On her coffee table she had a pretty sculpture of two manatees swimming. I don't remember the exact details, but while she was out of the room I accidentally knocked the sculpture off the table breaking it into several pieces.

I dreaded when Lisa would come back into the room and I would have to tell her I broke her treasured sculpture. In fact, when she did come back into the room I immediately started crying when I told her what I had done.

I was totally shocked when she replied, "Sara, it's no big deal. It's just a thing." I was so surprised she wasn't angry at me for breaking something important to her. She was sad, yes, but she truly wasn't that upset. She reminded me people are always more important than things, and that I was much more important than any object.


That life lesson has stuck with me. Even writing this (15 ish years later) I get emotional thinking about it.

When we moved from Indiana to Colorado, several items of ours were damaged in the move, including one of sentimental value. A friend of the family had taken the flowers from the arrangements at my father's funeral and made a wreath for me (which, by the way, I think is an awesome gift to give someone who is grieving!). During the move the wreath was crushed beyond repair and I admit shedding some tears when I took it out of the box and saw the damage. But, I said to myself, "remember, it's just a thing." Just because the wreath was gone, my memories of my Dad aren't gone. Those are all still alive and well.

I try to follow the motto of "it's just a thing" in many ways. I'm quick to loan out objects because after all, they are just things. Stuff gets broken or damaged in a house full a kids, but ahh well, those objects are just things.

With today's economy being what it is, I think it's easy for many of us to get wrapped up in worry, anxiety, and stress over our houses, our money...our stuff. I'm not saying there isn't reason to be concerned, but in the end, it's all just things, which don't matter. God matters. People matter.

Thanks, Lisa, for a life lesson that has served me well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow....Sara, thanks for sharing a great lesson we all can learn from.
That's a great story.