Powerful Questions for 2018 . . . Week 18

posted in: CYJ Blog, Lifeskills, Possessions

Happy May Day to everyone! Let’s see how we respond to seven questions for week eighteen of 2018, challenging us to relate this month’s lifeskill, Possessions. These questions are offered by Bob Tiede at At Leading With Questions, from wisdom leaders around the nation and world.*

*Source: Marc Chernoff’s list of questions,
Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself in 2018.

Question 1: Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?

I honestly can’t think of anything. Oh, pause, yes I can! I probably need to look over all my writing projects and decide which ones to let go of. I know as the years go so fast, I may not get to all of them. I need to set some priorities on that. Another thing for sure, I need to get rid of some clothes I haven’t worn for years. I don’t understand why it’s so hard to take them off the rack. I guess each piece of clothing has a memory attached, particularly when one gets to my age and beyond!

Question 2: What does ‘The American Dream’ mean to you?

The American Dream has been a permanent tenet for our nation, including a set of ideals such as democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality. With a little defining help from Wikipedia, this freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as upward social mobility for our family and children. This prosperity is achieved through hard work with hopefully few barriers.

James Tuslow Adams coined the term “American Dream” in his 1931 book The Epic of America. His definition was “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” This opportunity is regardless of social class or circumstances of birth. The American Dream is also rooted in the Declaration of Independence with the proclamation “all men are created equal” with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” For myself, the American Dream couldn’t be better defined.
For so many of us today, this dream has expanded to include both personal components, such as owning a home, being upward mobile, and even accompanies a global vision. Having my own home is wonderful. Yet, the American Dream for me is centered on the freedom and responsibility to pursue those dreams and goals for the benefit of my family and others.

Question 3: What is the most desirable trait another person can possess?

Integrity . . . but I would also attach compassion. That way, integrity can make all the difference in someone else’s life. Without compassion, truth or integrity falls short of its impactful purpose. Integrity spirals throughout our lives by the words and actions we take each day.

Question 4: Do you own your things or do your things own you?

There are times when the things around me are so important to my comfort, they do end up owning me in some way. A test would be to challenge myself to sell or give away that possession, then see how I feel about being without it. Yet, there are some possessions essential to modern daily life. What would we do without a car, stove, or washing machine, just to name a few?

For some people, they have worked out a lifestyle that accommodates being without a car or a washing machine. They get rides from co-workers, friends, or a nearby bus system. They may ride a bike or even walk. They also use the local laundromat. I consider myself blessed that I have so many comfort possessions right in front of me. My hope is I would have compassion and respect for those who are not able to afford these comforts but still make life work. Their lives teach me to be more content and more sensibly know the difference between a want and a need.

Question 5: What do you have that you cannot live without?

First and foremost, my hubby, John, and my daughters! When it comes to possession or my “stuff” I confess I have quite a list. It includes my home, car, weaving studio, and even my exercise equipment. Yet, as I mentioned in the previous question, my comfort zone is pretty broad. I hope if I were no longer able to have some of these comforts, I would find a work-around, adapt, and be content. Be assured though, I am not asking to be challenged with that test anytime soon!

Question 6: What is your most prized possession?

This is a hard question to answer. I have several prized possessions. Of course, it includes my weaving studio equipment and my office equipment required for writing my articles, books, and other projects.

Question 7: If you were forced to eliminate every physical possession from your life with the exception of what could fit into a single backpack, what would you put in it?

This question is not fair! I really don’t want to answer it. Bet you could imagine why from the answers given above. Ok. If I expect you to respond to this question, I guess I should too. So, here goes . . . Food, water, phone, purse & contents, required supplements/meds, change of clothes, washcloth/essential toiletries, and my external hard drive containing all my important documents, writings, and photos.

Now, it’s your turn again to choose what possessions or “stuff” you prize or need to give or throw away!