10 thoughts on “An Art Buchwald quote

  1. This is a brilliant quote. We strive to surround ourselves with the newest and best but that is all unimportant stuff.

    I grew up with second hand clothes from older nephews and toys from jumble sales; or second hand shops. And that has left me with an issue with people spending money on me. I like to spend money on others but I am not so good with others spending their money on me.

    Because of this aspect of my childhood, what matters now to me is memories. Memories give significance to our lives in a way that material things can’t and that’s what really matters at the end of the day.

    1. Exactly! Memories aren’t things and that works, although it also has to depend on the memories. If you’re unlucky enough to grow up around abuse, memories are the last thing you want.

      As a general rule, you’re right; memories are better than material things and as long as parents explain their actions to their children I think those things will come good. It’s a shame your parents didn’t explain their actions to you.

      I know my parents couldn’t afford clothes bought from retail shops when I was little, but that wasn’t a secret. It’s when we hide things from our children, that they should know about; it makes those things worse.

      There’s nothing wrong with having clothes passed down; but to have acceptance of those circumstances, we must first come to understand.

  2. I agree, I’d rather have no memory than a damaging one.

    I think your point about parents explaining to children their circumstances is absolutely right. Children aren’t stupid and should not be treat like they are.

    1. You’re absolutely right; particularly because children are like sponges. They soak up their environment better than we do and therefore anything that involves them needs to be discussed.

  3. When I was a child my community had a boys and girls club that was the size of an average bedroom. But we had fun rummaging through boxes of sports equipment and playing games in that tiny space called a boys and girls club; we had no idea we were poor, we were just happy.

    One day we boarded a bus to the other side of town. We saw massive gymnasiums, green fields and the biggest boys and girls club we’ve ever seen; everything was so beautiful. But when we returned home, I could’t wait to smell the dampness of that small room and rummage through the boxes of sports equipment; I was just happy.

    So I agree, the best things in life aren’t things.

    1. Yes, absolutely Tim. The best things in life can never be things. I love your story.

      I’m so pleased you still felt like you did when you came back from your trip to the other side of town. You weren’t like other children.

      Children are usually fickle by nature, with divided loyalties; depending on what they can get or extract from you. They want what other children have; not seeing that what they have is what they need to have, or is enough.

      I have seen children’s behaviour quickly change within seconds when they’re around things, which aren’t better; just different. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in your response Tim. You didn’t need things to be happy and that’s key.

      Unfortunately unless something is bigger or more influential we’re not interested. We’re taken in not only by things, but by people’s stature and their qualifications too. I’ve seen that happen as well; twice.

  4. Well, because I didn’t have much as a child I tried to make up for it as an adult, so I acquired shiny material things. As a result, I woke up one day with a bottle in my hand, a pile of bills and sadness in my heart; I wasn’t really happy.

    But things have changed, I’ve downsized my life and made it simpler. I can see the forest for the trees now.

    1. From your responses on the site Tim; I still see you as someone who has come through their journey a lot better for having lived a little.

      I believe our environment has a lot to do with the things we reach for and from what you have intimated; it doesn’t sound as though your upbringing was as straight forward as you would have liked.

      We make decisions (right or wrong) from what we see, what we know and how we feel. Your last paragraph is the most poignant; because you’re now seeing what you might have seen with a different upbringing.

      Thanks for being honest, but please don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ve grown through your experiences and that more than counts. Would you have chosen a different path? Well it wouldn’t be you if you had.

      You’ve grown, matured and come through even better. You finally understand what life’s about. You can see ‘the forest from the trees now.’ Love that.

  5. The best thing that could happen to us is love from our family. Our cousins were our playmates and we knew they always had our best interest at heart.

    1. Thanks Maria. I’m pleased Maria that you had supportive family as a child.

      I agree that family can help with certain things and I would love to believe that family make things right for us, but experiences shows that family can’t always. Sometimes it’s family who are responsible for what we have to deal with.

      Also because our issues our issues to deal with, it’s not always easy to agree with family on a way forward. Having family around us can make what we deal with feel easier, but how we get through our issues is up to us.

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