Thursday, March 28, 2019








By about any name, people protect, accumulate, gather, pile, clutch, grasp, drop, trade, discard their "belongings."  

We all do it in our own ways, subject to the norms and necessities of status, class, opportunities and options.  

Rich people usually take great care to secure their stuff.  Most all of their effects rest in safe surroundings.   Banks, funds, accounts, cards, wallets and any number of other secure stations provide protection for my stuff, my belongings. With little thought of a concept like "privileged" or "entitled," the well off , like me, devise philosophies or ideologies to argue their right to protect what they have  worked so hard to earn.  

Belongings often define where it is that I belong.

Poor people often imitate the rich in their own ways.  Only difference is the secure places often end up being on their persons in all sorts of creative ways.  Like their better off brothers and sisters, the  poor don't mind displaying their good fortune from time to time.  They also turn out to be willing to share, even from their meager holdings, just like the wealthy often share freely when given the facts and some measure of security.  

Belongings often define where it is the poor belong.

Just this morning I observed a dozen very poor people displaying, bragging, sharing, withholding, enjoying, organizing, stacking, dropping their belongings.

Belongings, as  in "belongs to me."  I've got something that I'm trying to manage. . . even though its not much.  It is an important part of who I am.  Body language and attitude declares that this collection of my effects belongs to me.

Later in the day we hosted volunteers from Texas Instruments, people with much more in the way of material belongings.  They brought lots of stuff to share.  Belongings changed hands.  Lives connected.  Stories exchanged, people connected.

All of us have belongings.

All of us seek to belong.  

As different as we appear, we all remain the same, pursuing belonging and packing our belongings.  

While I get all of this, more and more often these days I catch myself wishing for more courage to surrender my stuff, my belongings for the sake of a total redefinition of where people actually find belonging.  

There has to be more.  

I suspect I'll find this "more" in belonging with my friends who know poverty like a well-worn blanket carried about from place to place in search of what I need to learn to give up.