As we get near Thanksgiving and then the Christmas shopping season begins in full force, I thought it would be interesting to look back at this NPR report on a project which looked at “statistically average” families around the world – along with everything they owned.
The project, called Material World: A Global Family Portrait was undertaken sixteen years ago, but it still makes a statement in 2010.
It’s interesting to see what counts as average around the world, and even what counts as home. Some people’s possessions are so meager, you can hardly tell they are intentionally showing them off. For others, the photo is so wide that you can’t distinguish individual items.
But there’s one thing they all have in common, no matter how many things they own or how sheltered their lives may be.
Their most vibrant possession is always their family members.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who owns copper pots and whose are made of clay. To me, this photo analysis of items serves as a reminder that in the end, the things don’t count. The people around us, our family, are by far the most important things we “own.”