Charles Barkley And His Trophies: An Awesome Take on Materialism

Photo by Ariel Besagar on Unsplash

“When there’s so much left to do, why spend your time focusing on things you’ve already done, counting trophies or telling stories about the good old days?”

~ Dave Grohl

“…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

~ Jesus

Hey Threadies,

If you’re on social media then you know how big of an imprint materialism has on society. Also, if you’re on social media, follow the show on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook! Then you’ll see their posts, like their recent post of a news story about Charles Barkley.

No, he didn’t say anything outrageous. (I mean, maybe he did, but that’s not what this is about.) The article on Newser reported that Barkley is selling all his trophies. No, not for gambling debt or anything like that. This is a positive story.

Barkley, with a little help from a business that does stuff like this, plans to sell most of his trophies, including his 1993 NBA Most Valuable Player trophy and his 1996 Olympic gold medal. The money he raises is going to help the community he grew up in by providing affordable housing.

He won’t miss any of his old stuff, either. It’s hard to miss something if you keep it at your grandmother’s house, which is where Chuck says he keeps all that stuff.

He’s giving it all away because he doesn’t need trophies to define him. An example we would all do well to emulate. And this from the guy who famously said, “I’m not a role model,” and used to punch people in the face. So, not just Chuck, but why would anyone give away all that stuff? Because…

Things Don’t Matter

In an interview with the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Tim Kasser referred to work he published, which he said showed “the more highly people endorsed materialistic values, the more they experienced unpleasant emotions, depression and anxiety, the more they reported physical health problems, such as stomachaches and headaches, and the less they experienced pleasant emotions and felt satisfied with their lives.”

Kasser offered this explanation for the negative effects: “…materialistic values are associated with living one’s life in ways that do a relatively poor job of satisfying psychological needs to feel free, competent and connected to other people. When people do not have their needs well-satisfied, they report lower levels of well-being and happiness, as well as more distress.”

Owning those trophies didn’t do much for Chuck. By disconnecting with those trophies, Chuck will have a certain sense of freedom, but, and more importantly, he can leverage those objects for money that is desperately needed in his family’s community.

Advantages of Giving

According to the British-based Mental Health Foundation, “Evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for your own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress, improve your emotional wellbeing and even benefit your physical health.”

An article from Mental Floss states that giving back to the community has been scientifically linked to living longer, an increased sense of happiness, decrease in chronic pain, lowering blood pressure, promoting positive behavior, and “enhances an individual’s overall sense of purpose and identity”.

Looking for ways with everything that’s going on?

Consider donating to the COVID-19 Relief Fund on GoFundMe.

And if you’re sick of people talking about the coronavirus in a way that sends your anxiety into overdrive, try the latest episode of the show. The guys sit down with Brandi and Meaghan to talk about everything that’s going on, how it’s affecting them, and how they’re reacting.

In the era of social distancing, seek for mental health treatment online with And because they’re a sponsor of Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered, Threadies get a special discount!

To keep calm and centered while you’re stuck at home, practice mindfulness. And when you go back to the office, here’s some tips for keeping mental health a priority at work.

Here’s to your health–mental and phsyical. You’re in our thoughts and prayers over here.

Good luck!


Christopher Tallon is a writer, guitar tinkerer, and recovering middle school English teacher. He lives in west Michigan, and sometimes writes in the third person. You can find him on FaceBook, Instagram, or his Website.

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