Monday, February 13, 2012

Something Lost, Something Gained?

One of the first notable incidents for me upon moving to LA was the theft of my iPod. This was a few years back now, and so it's interesting to contemplate what I think and feel about the matter now. I spent more on the thing than I would care to admit, and it meant a lot to me. Buddhists tend to discourage such attachment to material goods, and nothing suggests the wisdom of their ways quite like being stolen from. I doubt whether that happens when you don't have things.

At the time, I did my best to let the thing go. What else could I do? I made some effort to locate it online, as I was led to believe that thieves often try immediately to sell stolen goods. It didn't surface, and I just let it go. A roommate at the time was incredulous at how little emotion I displayed over the loss (though his perspective, drug-influenced as I suspect it was, was probably warped). It just didn't seem like it would do any good, especially because there was no one to be mad at but myself.

What's amusing now is what a favor it was in a way to be robbed of the thing. It was a 60 gigabyte video iPod, which at the time was top of the line and very fashionable. I was proud of the thing, as anyone would be. Today I can't think of anyone who has a dedicated iPod except for small Shuffles and perhaps Nanos. Lugging around an iPod would make one look as foolish as would carrying a boombox. I probably never would have adapted to the fashion.

Instead, the adaptation was done for me. I carry an Iphone and a shuffle, sometimes eschewing both to read a book. I'd like to not have lost the iPod to an opportunistic thief in a city library as I did, and instead have sold it, but I do think I'm better off in a way. It's not always easy to take the long view, and I guess that sometimes it's just a copout to do so, but maybe in this case, I may really be ahead after the divestment of the iPod and the expensive lesson. Then again, maybe not.

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