Everything Else is Just Stuff

by Katy on August 25, 2011 · 14 comments

An story about the all engulfing fire of billionaire Richard Branson’s Caribbean home caught my eye this morning. In the article, actress Kate Winslet is quoted as saying:

“I will never forget Richard placing his arms around both my children as we were watching the flames, and saying, ‘At the end of the day, what you realise is that all that matters is the people that you love. Everything else is just stuff. And none of that stuff matters.’ ”

That’s right, Everything else is just stuff.

From a billionaire’s mouth to your ears.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan August 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

So very true indeed.


Mary August 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm

So inspiring that a billionaire who can just build another mansion isn’t worried about stuff!


harriet August 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm

When you have a billion in the bank, it’s easy to buy more stuff!


nancy August 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Don’t forget about having insurance to help replace the stuff.

(I agree that the people you love are most important, but seeing your home and the “stuff” of your life go up in flames for the “average” person would be terribly traumatic)


Jessica August 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm

As someone who has experienced a house fire, I agree. I was of course happy to have my family and we were extremely fortunate that no one was home when the fire happened, but all the photos of my family from as far back as tin types (we had most original copies of photos from both sides of the family that were passed down to me), pieces of jewelery that had been in the family for several generations, and our family pet were lost.

Of course it is just stuff, but it is the stuff that helps to hold your memories and history. The trauma of having no where to live and then of living with family members and feeling like an intruder. Then an insurance company that refused to give us the full amount for our policy to rebuild.


Laurie Bennett August 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Wouldn’t it be traumatic even for a rich person? Who cares that he can buy more stuff – he was still emotionally attached to the stuff he had. Who cares that he has insurance. None of that matters. Richard is at the core, still, and just, a human being. I’m surprised at the lack of compassion here.


Laurie Bennett August 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

p.s. I believe the point here was that in the end stuff doesn’t matter – people do, how you live your life does, the memories you’ve gathered in your heart do, etc. The point was about the stuff, not about the wealth of the man who owned the stuff.


harriet August 26, 2011 at 4:54 am

I still disagree. I own museum-quality artwork (many of which is in books, has been exhibited, etc). If it burned in a fire, it wouldn’t be just “stuff” to me. Yes, of course, my husband and kids are more important to me. Duh. It’s not a contest. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about my possessions.


Mary August 26, 2011 at 7:56 am

Well, I was being sarcastic with my remark about billionaires – it is of course tragic to lose your home & posessions in a fire no matter how rich or poor. But, I imagine it might be a bit easier to deal with if you have enormous resources.


Lisa@Granola Catholic August 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm

so very lovely


Elizabeth B August 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Did you catch the bit where Kate Winslet, while getting her own kids out, also carried Mr. Branson’s elderly mother bodily out of the burning house? I was all, gooooooo Kate! (The Twitter post I saw about it said, “If you thought Kate Winslet’s claim to fame was kicking Leonardo DiCaprio off a door…” or something to that effect.)


Katy August 25, 2011 at 10:37 pm

I did see that. I’ve always loved Kate Winslet, but she’s come up even a bit more in my esteem.



Carolee August 28, 2011 at 6:20 am

It is easier for a billionaire to say that, when they have the resources to replace everything. For myself, it would be impossible to replace even my most basic things and I would be forced to go without for a very long time.


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