What Do You Accumulate?

Sep 02nd 2011

A few quotes to begin:

  • -Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate(unknown)
  • – The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.  (Gore Vidal)
  • – It is more rewarding to watch money change the world, than it is to watch it accumulate.  (Gloria Steinem)
And one of my favorites:
  • – Of course there is a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don’t take much away; so knowledge sort of accumulates.  (Abbot Lowell)

What do you accumulate?  What do you value enough that you not only gather it in, but you hang on to it?  What do you count?  What do you go out of your way to collect?

The picture in this post has gone viral.  It’s even made it to Comedy Central (Tosh.O).  Somewhere along the line it got picked up from my blog or maybe facebook and since then it’s been shared all over the world.  I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received or how many different captions — some of them are hilarious — it’s been given.  If you want to read a bit more of the story you can click LOST HOME, but for now let me simply say this, my parents were a great example to me of NOT accumulating stuff!

I have a library full of books — hundreds of books in my personal library — and a growing number on my kindle.  But I give a lot of books away.  Same with money, God has blessed us with financial provision but Lynn and I love to give it away as much as we love to spend it.  So what do I accumulate? Probably more than one thing, but one thing I love to accumulate is experiences.  Moments.   Even more specifically what I really love to accumulate is shared moments.

A few weeks ago, I got certified as an open water scuba diver.  I don’t really have a bucket list, but if I had one that would have been on it.  But it was never valuable enough to me, till I could share it with someone. As each of our kids have graduated I’ve taken them on a trip.  Jake decided he would like to go scuba-diving.  What an experience!  But even better — what an experience to share with my son. 

We dove into the deep — together.  We got a bit lost in the deep — together.  We ate at Wendy’s way too often — together.  We got a bit seasick — together.

I think the easiest thing to accumulate is stuff, but it’s also the least satisfying.  The cool thing about about accumulating experiences is that it is not money dependent.  Scuba certification was money dependent, but shared moments are not.  Some of the best experiences I’ve shared with family and friends required absolutely no money whatsoever.

But what it does require is time.  We invest time, to accumulate experiences.  Shared moments. What do you accumulate?