Random Access Memories

March 24, 2018

On houses and happiness

by @ 10:01 am. Filed under Personal

Some of you know I am buying a house in Spokane Valley, WA right now. I take possession in a few days. And I’m pretty ambivalent about it all.

People keep asking, “Aren’t you happy about this?” or saying “I’m so happy for you!”

Yet I keep thinking, “It’s just a house”.

But we have a VERY materialistic culture, so I understand how a house can be the center of someone’s existence.

Western society tells us that it provides security, safety, and stability to “own” a home.

It is a sign that “I have arrived!”, or “I made it to the top!” of the material ladder.

Well, I’m just not all that materialistic.

Safety and security come from inside, not outside.

A house becomes a possession we invest so much of ourselves in. Take for example how crushing it is when a house floods, or catches fire. Then it’s a horrible tragedy.

When in reality it’s just one more “thing”, and things half lifespans. It’s stone, cement, wood, etc. It is a conglomeration of materials that will all eventually turn to dust or ash the way all things do. We just hope that happens long after we die.

As the Tuareg proverb goes, “Houses are the graves of the living”.

Well, I’m not ready to be buried yet. I just want some space to accomplish things and have friends gather. This is no different than buying a car with more seats to drive more friends around. Nobody says “WHOA! Awesome! You bought a minivan!”

Having that space to do things in is useful, but the “having it” is not what brings me happiness.

People are what matter, things do not.

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