They Can’t Take That Away



A lot of people try to make themselves happy by buying shoes. Other people buy art, or cars. When I was young my family was very well off financially, and I considered us a happy family. Some people might say it’s because we had a big house, a nice couple of cars, and every toy me and my siblings could ever hope for. Those people might be right, owning what you want does provide a bit of happiness. However, it’s only temporary. Searching for the happiest times of my life in my mind, I’ve come to find they have nothing to do with being the owner of material property.

While I had everything I ever wanted when I was young, I don’t attribute that as the root of my happiness.  My experiences have proved to me that owning this season’s Louis Vuitton $2,600 pair of shoes is not going to bring me happiness. There’s an old philosophy story, The philosophy of the perfect chair. It says how everything you want to buy is perfect in the store, and it will bring you euphoria, anticipation, and excitement before the purchase. Nonetheless, the high peak of your happiness will be the moment before purchasing it. Sure, that moment is such a thrill. It seems fairly easy to be mistaken by true happiness.

When I was twelve, my dad underwent an open heart surgery. Waiting in a hospital for almost seven hours to find out if he was going to make it or not, is one of the most painfully stressful and saddening moments in my life. After the surgery, the doctor came out and with a smile on his face said everything went perfectly. Feeling the release of what felt like giant Hulk hands making knots with my intestines suddenly stop, was the most thrilling feeling ever. I was not going to be fatherless. This peace of mind, and lightheartedness swept over me unlike anything I had felt before. No pair of shoes, toys, cars, houses, or any other material object could ever top this.

For me, happiness is not about what material objects you own; it’s about the hard things to find in life. Anyone with three hundred dollars can buy a GoPro, but its not about the camera. What use is a camera if you have no one to star in it but yourself? It seems like more and more people these days have realized that it doesn’t matter what you have, it matters what you have lived. My dad has a saying, “The song you’ve danced to, the places you’ve seen, and the food you’ve eaten; no one can take that away from you.” In a way I think it all comes down to that. Everything you own can be taken away, but not your family, your experiences, or your values.

In this society we are taught to buy. If you need something fixed, buy this. If you want whiter teeth, look at these whitening strips. Everything is disposable, there is no need to fix anything when you can just buy a new one. At the same time, people are so consumed by their jobs that they forget what is truly important. You can be the highest earning CEO in the country, but spending so much time immersed in your job comes with sacrifices. It can be incredibly hard to be the best in your field, and have a good relationship with anyone that is not an essential part of it. Hearing stories about trust-fund kids that can’t seem to stay out of trouble, makes me wonder what kind of upbringing they had. Their parents are too busy making the money to be able to buy themselves, and their kids everything that they forget to raise them.

I believe owning things can give you a certain quantity of joy, but would never call it happiness. Although the definition of happiness is defined by whoever is experiencing it. I have had every material thing I have wanted, and I have also lacked the monetary sustenance to buy food. Being in both sides of the spectrum and analyzing my well-being in each situation has made me come to the conclusion that my dad was right all along. What matters in life and will make you happy beyond a few seconds, days, or even months is hard to keep, hard to find, and can’t be bought.







8 Comments Add yours

  1. lizcasteel says:

    This is wonderful and so true. We didn’t grow up well off but we had happiness and trials as well. I learned that living and memories are the most important thing in life as no one can take that from you. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Random Twenty Something says:

      Thank you for the kind words! I’ve always tried to keep that in mind when I am having a hard time, remembering that I will be stronger afterwards keeps me moving forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lauren says:

    What a beautiful post. I find happiness is a small moment such as getting a text message from a friend and knowing they were thinking of you. Or learning how to cook something…or a trip you took. It’s definitely about experiences and memories. Sure material things can bring us some satisfaction, but there’s so much more to life than that. Family and friends and personal connection are what makes me happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Random Twenty Something says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Sometimes it can get a bit difficult to remember what the important things are, specially if you’re struggling. These times are also when we learn a lot about ourselves and identify the people who truly care about you, ultimately giving you something to be grateful for! Thank you for sharing!


  3. Anonymous says:

    I love this out look on life!! (and very well written if I may add.)

    I would be interested to hear your take on current affairs, such as the 2016 Presidential Candadates and so on..
    I, too, share your opinions stated above. You sound like a very like-minded soul. ❤️ Thank you for sharing!


    1. The Random Twenty Something says:

      Thank you for the awesome compliment, I’m glad you enjoyed it! I might post something about the 2016 Presidential Candidates at some point, it’s just such a sensitive subject to so many people including myself, that I want to be really careful about what is said. Feel free to email me if you want to chat


  4. Amy says:

    Excellent post! Recently I’ve looked around and realized all that I have and how nice it is but still have so many problems. The things as you say are nice but a temporary high. Life and health is your true wealth and although many people are envious of material items, I wish they’d realize that they ultimately mean nothing.


    1. The Random Twenty Something says:

      You are exactly right! When all is said and done, material things have little worth, its the people who truly matter. Thank you for your comment!


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