Words from Dic(tionary)
by J. R. Practix
Acquire: (v.) 1. to buy or obtain 2. to learn or develop 3. something one comes to enjoy through experience: e.g.an acquired taste
When I was moving out of my house to go on the road and realized that I needed to get my life reduced to a suitcase and a shave kit, I was immediately struck by how much STUFF I had acquired.
“Acquiring” is not the accumulation of assets. Often it is brought about by a fear of losing or a lack of assessing.
For instance, I had things in my closet which had no power for my existence. Worse, I did not remember where they came from or why I had acquired them in the first place. Yet they collected space.
It was bizarre. In a weird sense, I realized that from the moment of my birth, I was always trying to expand my three square feet of human location to bigger and bigger proportions, perhaps in order to tout my value.
After all, if you live in a 5,000-square-foot house and it is chock-full of things you’ve acquired, doesn’t that make you more important? It shouts that you are NOT a person toting a backpack or pushing a shopping cart through a park to your favorite bench. Rather, you are a respectable sort–one who possesses many different knickknacks, most of which are completely irrelevant.
It really gave me pause for thought. What DO I want to acquire?
What immediately popped into my mind was “experience.” But experience is overrated if it does not make us more flexible individuals.
I might want to acquire friendships. But actually, most of our friends are really acquaintances. Candidly, an acquaintance is someone who tells you that you look nice. A friend is someone who knows it’s nice to tell you when you look bad. So I guess I DO want to acquire friends. But how many of those will we be fortunate enough to have?
It reminds me of an old proverb: “With all your getting of knowledge, acquire wisdom.”
And what IS wisdom? Wisdom is knowing the real reason you do things–without having to make up an excuse on the fly;. Yeah, I guess THAT’S what I want to acquire.
But not too much ..,. just in case I have to move again.