Sunday, June 19, 2005

This I believe

NPR has recently begun to air a segment, left over from the 50' or 60's I think- called "This I believe"- an essay segment on any and all subjects- here is my entry:

This I believe-

I believe that we should save stuff. For years, since I was a child, I have been told to get rid of my stuff- stuff that others view as trash, garbage.

An old radio, a broken watch, a book I read when I was twelve.

When I got married my wife told me to get rid of all the things I don’t need or use. An old radio that works sometimes, a book with a torn cover, or the tie with unidentified green stains.

I believe that I, we, everyone, should hold on to stuff- to junk. Not because we need it, but because we should.

These things aren’t just stuff, just garbage or just an ugly shirt- these things are memories. They are reminders of a simpler time in our lives.

When I last wore that stained tie I was 16 and the biggest worry I had was whether or not Janine would kiss me good night or just shake my hand.

When I last journeyed through the pages of that torn book I was the pirate- the cowboy, or the cop- I had no bills, I wasn’t sick, and I wasn’t feeling the effects of age and gravity.

The last time I listened to that “piece of junk radio” was on a late summer night with my dad as he told me how he used the same radio 30 years earlier to listen to Jack Benny, The Green Hornet, and The Shadow.

I believe that today’s society is a throw away world, where, when something doesn’t work just right or fit into the current fashion trend we are expected to throw it away and get a new one.

I believe that we need to hold onto the memories of a simpler time- when it was OK if something didn’t fit or look just right because when we get right down to it, we’re all out of date, out of place, out of style, or just plain broken.

And when we begin to throw out what isn’t perfect in favor of what this society tells us is acceptable we have a bland sameness with no character-

And I believe I don’t want to live in a place like that.


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