Why do we have things? - Ewen Munro's Blog #6

Why do we have things? It seems like an odd question at first; but this question can provide some depth to our understanding of ourselves and can highlight a thing’s usage.

There could be numerous reasons for why we have things, for nostalgia, for the thing’s use, because the thing is popular, for a culmination of different reasons and for other reasons. So let’s explore some of these reasons.

Nostalgia seems such a rudimentary reason for why we have a thing, mainly because we’re applying value to the thing, because of past experiences, that might not have any current value. It makes us put emphasis on the old and ruminate on the past, putting less emphasis on the present, missing the pinnacle moment of our lives: now. Because of nostalgia we might miss the opportunity we still have, from simply being alive, to share our life with others.

So ideally we’d have a thing for it’s use. And this would make sense, right? You buy a thing and use it. Simple. A thing’s use could also aid in solving problems. You might have a problem, and need to purchase a thing to use to fix that problem. Simple again.

But then why might we buy a thing because the thing is popular? Although the question would have to be answered on a case-by-case basis, most likely the answer has to do with some form of ‘belonging’. “Because all of these cool kids have this thing I need to have this thing”. If this is the situation, then all this highlights is that we desire to belong and not to even have the thing. So, it begs to ask the question, why do we have the thing?

The most obvious answer would have to be that the reason why we have things is because of a culmination of different reasons, from nostalgia, for the thing’s use, because the thing is popular and so on. And of course, the reason for why we would have one thing might be different to another, highlighting that there would be different reasons for why we have each thing. But it still doesn’t necessarily answer the general question, ‘why do we have things?’

So here is my attempt to answer the general question. But first, I’d like to raise that my answer is a belief and not a justification, meaning that my answer might not necessarily be true and is just my personal interpretation to the general question, ‘why do we have things?’ So here it is: we have things because it helps us to understand who we think we are. Think about it. If it wasn’t for the things we posses, as well as our memories, how would we have any idea of who we are? We therefore, put value into things to then shape our identities.

The next question should then be, ‘why do we feel compelled to shape our identities?’ But maybe, this question should be for the next blog.

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