Who would you be without the house and the car and the name brands?

The top reason I am drawn to the Buddhist philosophy of looking at life is because it asks difficult questions that force you to accept yourself at a much more genuine level. Unlike other philosophies or religions that train you to look outward for answers and 'add-on' or change qualities to your existing self for 'salvation', Buddhism is all about shedding, letting go, simplifying, accepting your genuine self. One such question is, "Who would you be without _________?" set of questions. Who would you be without that car?, Who would you be without that house? Would the entirety of who you are hold up if tomorrow you had nothing but yourself?

In raising my kids I try to think of ways to get these ideas to them in kid-friendly concepts. I think in teaching them to not value themselves through external qualities, such as materialistic goods or even grades, I save them a lifetime of suffering. Daily I encounter people who verbally and openly flaunt their external goods, blindly assuming the whole world will equate the value of these goods to them personally. I want my kids to know they never need to put on a song and dance to show the world that they are worthy of adoration.

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