In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many people are using this time as a mass reflection on what matters most and how we should spend our time. Particularly post-lockdown, it appears we are more appreciative of experiences and memories than cash and material possessions. Perceptions of value have shifted to create a greater focus on what is important to families and self-isolation has opened up time for us to truly appreciate the little things. Memories and the emotions tied to them are what make up the fabric of our lives, and can be carried through the sentimental items we receive from older generations.
What we inherit has long been thought of as a cold transfer of money or items from one generation to the next, but in reality, it is much more. Possessions that get passed on can vary widely, but what these items have in common is that their value is based on the stories and memories attached to them. While inherited items may have little to no monetary value to an outsider, to those familiar with their stories, they can be absolutely priceless.
A new nationally representative study unveiled by biography-writing service, StoryTerrace, reveals that Americans are actually more attached to their possessions because of their sentimental value.
This research suggests that a majority of Americans place more value on the unique items and stories left to them from their loved ones.
“Be it an old house or a quilt made by a grandmother – items passed down from our loved ones carry powerful stories with them,” says Rutger Bruining, CEO and Founder of StoryTerrace. “In the eyes of someone else, these things may seem worthless or even dingy, but to us, they are priceless because the stories attached to them have helped shape us.
- 57% of Americans would rather receive possessions from their loved ones than money
- 77% of Americans value the memory of a possession over its financial value
- 54% of Americans would not sell a valuable inherited item even if they needed the money due to the sentimental value it holds for them or their family
- 36% of Americans have inherited an object/artwork/furnishing that they don’t think is attractive, but have hung on to it for sentimental reasons
- 62% of Millennials would rather inherit a nostalgic item than cash in a will
- 80% of Millennials value the sentimental value of a possession over its financial value
- 59% of Millennials would not sell a valuable inherited item even if they needed the money due to the sentimental value it holds for them or their family
Particularly during this time, we want to encourage everyone to reach out to their loved ones and to listen to their tales and memories. By documenting and recording their stories, not only can you preserve their legacy, but you can achieve a better understanding of the person that you are in the world today through who you come from.
Elise began her career as a Writer/Anchor/Reporter at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, GA. She also served as Supervising Producer at E! Networks and most recently, has been busy freelance producing and writing for numerous magazines and blogs.