Quality of life is your stuff

What is stuff? Is it like they, as in “they” say this or “they” say that or “they took our jobs?” Stuff, they say could be anything you can imagine just as they could be anyone you can imagine.

“Well that’s your stuff.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because they said so.”

“Who’s they?”

“Well, I don’t know… them…?

It’s all subjective, it’s up to your interpretation. There a lot of terms much like that. They said so.

Deceased comedian George Carlin said it best in his routine “A Place for my Stuff.”

“Actually, this is just a place for my stuff, ya know? That’s all; a little place for my stuff. That’s all I want, that’s all you need in life, is a little place for your stuff, ya know? I can see it on your table, everybody’s got a little place for their stuff. This is my stuff, that’s your stuff, that’ll be his stuff over there.

“That’s all you need in life, a little place for your stuff. That’s all your house is – a place to keep your stuff. If you didn’t have so much stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. A house is just a pile of stuff with a cover on it. You can see that when you’re taking off in an airplane. You look down, you see everybody’s got a little pile of stuff. All the little piles of stuff. And when you leave your house, you gotta lock it up. Wouldn’t want somebody to come by and take some of your stuff. They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you’re saving. All they want is the shiny stuff. That’s what your house is, a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get...more stuff! Sometimes you gotta move, gotta get a bigger house. Why? No room for your stuff anymore.”

Outside of your house what kind of stuff do you need? I don’t mean your yard stuff; I’m talking stuff that is way outside your yard. Stuff across town; the stuff you ride on to get there; stuff on the side of the road; the stuff the kid next to you does when the traffic light turns green, or the quality of life stuff that you can’t understand what it is.

You can’t take it with you. You certainly can’t take quality of life (QOL) with you.

Can a highway, a school, a park be QOL. Can public safety, It virtually ties you to your home. As Carlin said, if you leave, a burglar might take your stuff. “They always take the good stuff. They never bother with that crap you’re saving. All they want is the shiny stuff.”

Tied to our stuff, tied to our house, tied to our community. Wouldn’t it be great if the stuff outside our home was just a little bit better? The places we go, just a little more scenic, a place nearby to experience some culture, public transportation to get there. the people we know just a little nicer. They call it “quality of life.” What does that mean?

It’s used without definition. It’s used carte blanche.

I’ve seen so many presentations that use the term quality of life, I could…  The thing is, the term is used without consideration for what it describes. Does QOL mean a quality school system? Does it mean great roads? How about the way the community looks: Garden-like; defined as, such an area of land that is open to the public, sometimes part of a park or botanical gardens. No one really thinks of water, sewer or gas pipes. No one considers low taxes, shopping centers with a sea of asphalt or a road so wide you can’t see the other side a QOL.

QOL is subjective, but how many consider tall weeds in the center of Route 288 or the broken, patched and heaving concrete QOL?

Life satisfaction, is subjective and may fluctuate. Intricate factors that include everything from physical health, psychological state, level of independence, family, education, wealth, religious beliefs, a sense of optimism, local services and transport, employment, social relationships, housing and the environment are QOL items.

Cultural perspectives, values, personal expectations and goals of what we want from life are also QOL issues. How can we get QOL in Chesterfield when officials cut the budget so much, QOL is out of reach. I suggest find another way to describe pipes and asphalt – stuff.

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