M. SCOTT MORRIS: Our lives are shaped by our things

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Things matter. That’s not a grownup way of thinking, but things really do matter.
We’re heading into Christmas, when little kids are highly focused on what their parents and Santa will get them.
It’s cute to see so much enthusiasm over a bike or game. I remember my innocent greed from days not so long ago.
I enjoy my kids’ anticipation of the big day, but a small voice inside says it’s wrong to put such heavy emphasis on material possessions.
There are higher pursuits to which we could aspire. Maybe our abundant stuff clutters the view and keeps us imprisoned in our grasping, clinging world.
Luckily for us, that’s a small, quiet voice, easily drowned out by the constant pace of everyday life.
Besides, we all need our things. Where would most of us be without our automobiles? My job wouldn’t be possible. It’s a long bike ride from Tupelo to Houlka, especially pulling a photographer behind you.
Cars define us in many ways. I wouldn’t have made this case last week, but events intervened to show me the light.
About a month ago, I was driving through the bustling metropolis of West Point, when the guy in front of me turned into the Hardee’s parking lot. He had every right to make that turn, but I still slammed my front bumper into his back bumper.
“Slammed” might not be the best word, but “tapped” doesn’t work, either. Let’s use “collided,” an industry term.
I procrastinated on getting my car fixed, even though my boss, Leslie, said I could use her truck. I’m used to driving a small car that whips in and out of traffic with relative ease, except in West Point it seems.
When I couldn’t put off the work any longer, I took my car to the shop, then fell in love with my boss’ truck.
It’s been nearly 17 years since I traded in my Bronco II for a sedan. I’d forgotten what it was like to sit up high above other drivers. It felt like coming home.
My Southern accent has gotten thicker all week. I’ve been spitting more and scratching myself in inappropriate places, and I quit using deodorant.
If someone gave me a handful of nails, I’d chew them up and die. Let’s not get carried away. The truck didn’t turn me into Superman.
Though someone told me I looked like late Superman actor Christopher Reeve. I haven’t heard that comparison in years.
My wife can’t wait until I get my car back. It turns out deodorant serves a valuable social function in the 21st century.
That proves my point: Things matter. If you don’t believe me, try going without deodorant for a week.
This Christmas, take it easy on those kids with their eyes all filled with avarice, but be careful what you get them. There’s no telling what the wrong gift might turn them into.

M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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