The Value of Objects: That Hoard and Sleep And Feed, And Know Not Me

20130531-141023.jpg The value of most things lies in their use and not in their intrinsic financial worth. Capitalist society functions on the belief that baubles and objects have great value, that certain brands retain their worth, and that by hoarding rare objects one can accumulate riches beyond imagination. Reality television shows us this through programs about antiques, storage lockers and pawn shops. If we merely sit in our baseball cards, comic books and heirlooms then we will be rich. To quote poet, Anne Sexton: “That story.”
Reality is that items are only worth what a market will pay, and that is seldom more than a few dollars. Today I sold my gold wedding band and a ring I found on the street to a good dealer for a whopping $100 cash. Was I robbed by Oliver the Gold Man? Depends on how one perceives value, I suppose. I sold gold for cash at a rate minus refining fees minus this and that. It was less than was paid thirteen years ago despite gold being where the unwashed masses run to in strained economic times. Am I upset? No, I am relieved to be rid of a symbol that sat in a drawer, that signified slavery and pain. I sold it five years to my separation day, and am now free to be with the person I love. The value of freedom from a burden cannot be measured in trinkets.
The moral of my day’s business (which I already knew): put your value into experiences with those you love versus objects you hope will appreciate when society crumbles. I will take that $100 and spend it on a wonderful night out sharing a dinner with the woman I love. The value of those moments cannot be measured on a scale at a dingy money lenders office. Build the foundation of your life through education and experiences in lieu of gold and objects, for things will crumble into nothing, but our actions cannot be taken away.


2 responses to “The Value of Objects: That Hoard and Sleep And Feed, And Know Not Me

  1. Nice one!

  2. “Cinderella” by Sexton is one of my favourite poems to teach, in spite of the (now) archaic allusions for students. It was lovely to see your reference to it: ‘that story’, indeed.

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