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Article Archive >> Community

Reflections: The stuff in our lives!

Reflections
The stuff in our lives!
by William L. Bulla

I have too much stuff. Most people do. We overvalue stuff. We see something in good condition at a yard, or garage, sale for a fraction of its original price, and we feel compelled to buy it. Maybe it is stuff we won't use, but it is such a bargain we just couldn't pass it by. Most of this stuff is worthless because we didn't need it. It will just be stored away with other stuff we have accumulated over the years.
But what is "stuff"? There are hundreds upon hundreds of items we call stuff. It has so many meanings. It can be a noun referring to items. It can be a verb referring to an action. If we say something has been stuffed, it can be an adjective.
Let's look at some of the definitions of "stuff."
* Cram into a cavity: "The child stuffed candy into his pockets."
* Material; the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object; "Wheat is the stuff they use to make bread."
* Thrust; press or force: "Stuff the letter into an envelope."
* Miscellaneous unspecified objects: "The closet was full of stuff."
* Obstruct: "My nose is all stuffed".
* Informal terms for personal possessions: "Did you pack all the stuff you needed for your trip?"
* Gorge; overeat or eat immodestly; make a pig of oneself: "She stuffed herself at the dinner"; "The kids stuffed themselves on ice cream."
* Senseless talk: "Don't give me that stuff."
* Sports: (Hockey) To shoot a puck forcefully into the goal from close range; (Basketball) To dunk the ball; (Baseball) The control a pitcher has over a ball.
* Unspecified qualities required to do or be something: "The stuff that heroes are made of!"
* Fill tightly with a material: "Stuff a pillow with feathers."
* Information in some unspecified form: "It was stuff I had heard before"; "There's good stuff in that book."
* Cooking: "Have you stuffed the turkey yet?"
These are just a few of the many uses of the word "stuff". However, these examples will give you an idea of how this word can be used in so many occasions * You must understand that the value of some new acquisition of stuff isn't the difference between its retail price and what you paid for it. It is the value you derive from it. Stuff is an extremely liquid asset. Unless you have some plan for selling that valuable thing you got so cheaply, what difference does it make what it's "worth?" The only way you're ever going to extract any value from it is to use it. And if you don't have any immediate use for it, you probably never will. It will end up in your attic, basement or garage with all that other stuff. It could become additional stuff you have packed away in the house for someone to get rid of upon your demise.
The worst stuff in this respect may be stuff you don't use much because it's too good. Nothing owns you like fragile stuff. For example, the "good china" so many households have, and whose defining quality is not so much that it's fun to use, but that one must be especially careful not to break it.
Got the idea? Stuff covers so many things, and I have only covered a few of the words many uses. However, I think that is enough stuff to think about.

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.

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