The Idea Dude


Monday, July 05, 2010

What's in your knapsack

Two elderly people were out walking this morning. Wrapped around their waists where sweaters... just in case. With the kind of weather we were getting, hand towels are probably better ideas, but instead they had sweaters. Just in case.

I wondered how much of our lives are cluttered with unnecessary articles, habits, thoughts, feelings, regrets, hate. Things we choose to carry around us because we are afraid by letting go, we would lose them. But what if we do? Would it be the end?

We do it all the time. I'm notorious for keeping boxes after taking out the items. Just in case I need to return them, I tell myself. 10 years, after the items have been thrown out, the boxes are still there. Just in case. My parents do the same, in their case, I'm sure it is because they know what it is like not to have things. For them, it is a habit of being frugal. And mostly it is a habit.

We are all hoarders in some way. Whether it is physical or emotional, we keep things around. Many of them are unnecessary. Maybe it is our primeval gathering instinct but I suspect it is just our insecurities.

George Clooney gives his knapsack lecture in his movie Up in the Air. One can read so much in that metaphor, e.g. empty knapsack means empty soul. It does make me wonder how often do we check what we have in our lives. How much is redundant? How much of it has no value or use anymore?

To have an empty knapsack would be a tragedy. There must be things, memories, feeling, people who help define us and build our world around us. I guess the problem is we seldom look inside to figure out what we should leave behind, to make space for the new. If we don't, our knapsacks will eventually drag us down and we remain the same.

They say if we continue to the do same things, we will get what we always gotten. It is always time to change. Not necessarily monumental change. Just tweaks here and there and before we know it, we become new "me's"/


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