The Measure of a Good Life

Recently, I was going through some old possessions that I brought back from my parents' house, the things from college and earlier. Since I want to be a minimalist and cut down on my possessions I begin to sort these items and figure out what to keep and what to throw out. According to Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I should get rid of sentimental values because they are only valuable at the time I received them. But when I came across my box of letters and cards that I've kept since the 4th grade I begin to wonder about that.

There are over 100 letters and cards that people have sent me over the years, from 4th grade Valentine's Day card from my classmates to the most recent birthday card from my parents. I took photographs of each card or letter as a backup. The whole process took me over five hours. And I enjoyed rereading many of these items.

My favorite card of all time is a card sent by my mom dated on January 1, 2015. It wasn't a New Year's Day card and it's not a birthday card. In fact, it wasn't a card for any occasion. It was a gratitude card that said a lot of what she wanted to say to me, but couldn't find the right words until she saw that card.

I was touched when I first read it back in 2015. However, when I read it again this second time I teared up. I realized that there are so many people who have cared for me over the years. They helped me develop the person I am today. All these cards and letters are evidence of that. I will never throw any of them out, unlike the advice from Marie Kondo. In fact, they are among my prized possessions.

The measure of a good life is not the amount of money I made or any of the materialistic things I have accumulated. It's really about how many people have influenced me over the years, the experiences I've had, and the result of them. The physical assets that reflect my past actions are in these cards and letters, whether they are Christmas cards, thank you cards, birthday cards, post cards, handwritten letters, etc. Like a ruler is to measure distance, days to measure time, this box of cards and letters is a measure of a good life spent and serves as karma points for the afterlife (if there is one).

I am grateful to all my friends and family members that came into my life at one time or another and took the time to write me a card or a letter. You mean a lot to me even though I don't express it enough. I just want to take this time to say thank you, you all mean a lot to me! May we meet again soon.