Stories, standards, and the point

What’s a car for? Transportation. With reliability. Status. A transaction with the bank. A transaction with the dealer. Your relationship with the neighbors. A statement about your style and belief in design. Your sense of quality. A statement about how you walk on this planet.

What’s a job for? A way to pay the bills. How you spend your day. What you talk about at parties. A sense of purpose. A chance to dream. The people you connect with. Something to be proud of. A statement of self-worth and dignity. The opportunity to make a difference, or a chance to regularly lower your status.

What’s a wedding for? A ceremony to memorialize a long-term commitment. A statement of status. An extension of historic male dominance. A chance to make a statement against the patrimony. Playing within the rules and standards of a community. Deliberately challenging those rules. A statement of mutual self-esteem. A party, perhaps the biggest you will ever host. Scarcity, deciding who comes and who doesn’t, and abundance, using resources to extend the boundaries.

What’s a house for? A safe place to live. An investment. A transaction with a broker. A statement to family and friends. An investment. A monthly payment. An expression of personal taste and style.

As our resources grow, so does the power of the stories we tell ourselves.