We are our stuffs

By Alpha Miguel-Sanford

Photo of Michael Warren (Google stock file)


Yes, that is true – we are our stuffs. Our stuffs are us!

We are attracted to an object, an artwork, a book or anything because there is at least one single reason why. It could perhaps be a reminder of our childhood, our loved ones, our memories from the past. It could perhaps be our photographic memory taking us back to the emotions we have felt previously. Our stuffs are powerful as they speak for who we are, what we value and how we shape or plan for tomorrow.

Interior designers understand this concept. They know this simple philosophy of designing: in small spaces, they encourage house owners to carefully select a few pieces of furniture, wall decor and even photographs which they associate themselves closely. Their houses must describe the interests they have in life; what are their hobbies, their accomplishments and even sometimes their failures.

In Boston, Michael Warren presented his photographic project on “Somebodies” in the 2010 TEDx. In this project, he asked people to bring anything at his studio; anything that means a lot to them; anything that they care about; anything that has sentimental value to them. Some people brought old shirts. Some brought   toys, like the 6-year old Ayden who brought “Bakugan”. Others brought jewelry, a sewing machine, helmet – you see where I am going.

But the most memorable photo from his project was from Ron, who brought Kleenex tissues from his late wife, Lisa. I was moved by his story (which you can read below) because of how authentic his feelings are and how it made me realize that no matter the cost, or how little we thought of some things, some people out there believe that there is some ”meanings” to them!  

How about you?

If you were asked to bring a personal item that has value or meaning to you, what would it be?

Share us your thoughts.


About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed, a personal development website, with the vision of educating and inspiring individuals in their pursuit of happiness and success. You can contact her at amsdaily@yahoo.com, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily and be friends with her on Twitter @identitysolved.


  1. jacqui says:

    I would bring along ME, :-) .
    I am the total sum of all my things and all things,
    I and us all of us,
    are ONE!

    • belinda says:

      I really pondered this one and came up with nothing. There isn’t anything I would bring. I am content to just be naked before Source. Then I logged in and read jacqui’s joyful sharing and decided “ditto!” Just me. One with All That Is. :)

  2. Ianus Christius says:

    Hello again!
    Please stop by, I have some interesting tests for you to solve. Maybe you’ll like it.

  3. 27 years ago when my husband and I were still dating, he bought me a necklace from a Navajo jewlery stand, during one of his trucking trips. I have had to rethread the nacklace over the years, but it hangs off the rear view mirror in my pick up. I always have that reminder of fond wishes visible.

  4. Deb Prewitt says:

    It’s funny, because we often attach sentimental value to something that belonged to somebody we loved and lost (like Ron). I have things from a number of people that are gone now that I really cherish, just because they used to belong to a loved one (like clothes or jewelry or toys). And photos too. But we attach less importance (maybe) to things that belonged to someone who is still around. Perhaps because we know there will be other momentos later, and with those we have lost, there is no later. I would bring a shirt that I have that belonged to my brother who was killed when he was 18. Silly I know, but I still have it even nearly 30 years later.

  5. AMSDaily says:

    Great comments here! When I first read about this project and went through all the profiled clients of Michael Warren it also made me think deep and deeper.
    At first, my mind frame was similar to Belinda’s – but as I reflect further on I knew I have this one thing I would bring: the academic medal I received when I graduated from college!

  6. Ria Romabaoa says:

    Hi Ading Alpha!
    I’ve always wanted to write about this thing. Thank you for sharing this one. The stuffs that we collect are definitely a reflection of who we are, sometimes what we were deprived of or what we weren’t capable of having while we were growing up and most of the time, it has a deep connection to us. If I was asked to bring one personal item, I will have to bring a pendant called flower of life….

    Light and Love,
    Manang Ria

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