What They Left and What They Kept: What an Antarctic Expedition Can Teach You About What’s Truly Valuable

by Brett & Kate McKay on October 7, 2013 · 43 comments

in A Man's Life, Personal Development

ship

“Do you hear that? We’ll none of us get back to our homes again.”

Tom McLeod, member of the 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, stood anxiously on the deck of the Endurance. He looked out on a nearby ice floe where ten Emperor penguins stood wailing a mournful cry. None of the ship’s twenty-eight member crew had seen such a large group of penguins gather together before, nor heard them issue such a strange and chilling sound. Surely, McLeod thought, this was a foreboding omen.

Ernest Shackleton, leader of the expedition, bit his lip. One did not have to be superstitious to feel the crew’s prospects were bleak. The Endurance had been stalled out for months, having become trapped in an ice pack as it sailed towards the South Pole. The crew’s aim was to launch an expedition that would traverse the Antarctic continent. But now the ice floes surrounding the ship had begun violently pinching and twisting it, tearing open holes in the hull through which freezing water poured. The men had worked for days in exhausting, round-the-clock shifts, pumping out the water by hand. But Shackleton knew their efforts were not enough to save the ship; the next day he ordered the Endurance abandoned. “She’s going boys,” he said. “I think it’s time to get off.”

ice

The men trudged out onto an ice floe, leaving behind what had been, all things considered, a warm and comfortable home. It was a farewell to their last tie to civilization. They had now entered a lone and dreary wilderness. The men set up their tents on a tenuous foundation that was likely no more than 6 feet deep and could crack open at any time – plunging them into the icy deep.

Shackleton strode from the Endurance carrying a copy of the Bible given him by Queen Alexandria at the outset of their journey and made his way to the center of the hastily constructed campsite. Gathering his men around him, he told them of the new plan: they would begin a march across the ice towards Paulet Island, some 346 miles to the west. As they hoped to hit open water along the way, the men would have to drag two, one-ton lifeboats along with them, hauling them across a vast wasteland of ice and over ridges that could rise two stories high. “We cannot hope to make rapid progress,” Shackleton told the men, “but each mile counts.”

Given the arduous nature of the task ahead, Shackleton solemnly informed his men that “nothing but the bare necessities are to be taken on the march, for we can not afford to cumber ourselves with unnecessary weight.” Author Alfred Lansing writes in Endurance that through studying the outcome of past expeditions, Shackleton had come to believe that traveling light was absolutely paramount, as “those that burdened themselves with equipment for every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed.”

Each member of the team was allowed the clothes on his back, plus two pairs of mittens, six pairs of socks, two pairs of boots, and a sleeping bag. Beyond these basic provisions, Shackleton ordered that each man only bring a maximum of two pounds of personal possessions.

Shackleton moved to set the example for his men. He took his Bible and ripped out the flyleaf upon which the Queen had inscribed: “May the Lord help you to do your duty & guide you through all the dangers of the land and sea. May you see the Works of the Lord & all His Wonders in the deep.” Then he tore out the 23rd Psalm, as well as a page from Job he considered “wonderful”:

Out of whose womb came the ice?
And the hoary frost of Heaven, who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone,
And the face of the deep is frozen. (Job 38:29-30)

Shackleton placed the torn pages inside his jacket and laid the Bible in the snow. He then reached into his pocket and withdrew a gold watch, gold cigarette case, and a handful of gold sovereigns. He gave the items one last look before tossing them into the snow as well.

It was a dramatic gesture, but Shackleton was determined to impress upon his men the absolute necessity of each man stripping himself of every ounce of superfluous weight. “No article has any value when measured against our survival,” Shackleton intoned. “Everything is replaceable except your lives.”

What They Left and What They Kept

crew

Shackleton’s men were faced with a series of heart-wrenching choices. Given the scant two-pound allowance, which of their cherished personal possessions should they keep, and which should they cast aside into what Shackleton called “the privacy of these white graves”?

Taking inventory of what the members of the Endurance expedition decided to keep and what they left behind can teach us much about what is truly valuable — not only literally, in terms of material possessions — but as broader symbols of what matters most in life for all of us.

We may never face a situation of life and death survival as the members of the Endurance expedition did. Yet in a world of gray morality, shallow culture, and relentless consumerism, the survival of every man’s values, happiness, goals, and manhood are ever at risk. Every “mile” matters in our personal journeys too, and the lighter we travel, the further we can get in the goal of becoming men of excellence. What kinds of things should we “carry” with us on life’s journey, and what weighs us down and keeps us from ever getting where we want to go?

What They Left Behind

Money/Jewelry/Gold. The thing that had the most value in the explorer’s lives back home would have the least value on their Antarctic march. Or as Frank Worsley, captain of the Endurance put it, “there are times when gold can be a liability rather than an asset.” Heavy and worthless, their “wealth” would simply serve to weigh them down.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: Few things can impede your search for a happy and fulfilling life more than a love of money and a heedless pursuit of material possessions. Debt shackles. Accumulating piles of shiny tchotchkes doesn’t bring lasting satisfaction and forces you to invest your time in taking care of your stuff, rather than in things with true value like relationships, experiences, and service to others.

Clothes. The men could only take the clothes on their backs. Their remaining pairs of pants and shirts were jettisoned.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: This one can translate more literally and relates to the point above. Instead of having a huge wardrobe, just have a few pieces that really get the job done and will work in a wide variety of situations. Instead of having a house full of junk, try to own only those things you really need, use, and get true enjoyment from.

Scientific instruments. In addition to the goal of being the first men to cross Antarctica, the expedition had also originally aimed to gather geologic and other scientific data about the continent. But with the sinking of the Endurance, that original purpose had to be jettisoned; the men had to focus all of their energies on their new mission: simply making it home alive. Thus, microscopes, telescopes, and other scientific equipment were discarded in the snow.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: Sometimes the plan we set out for ourselves – either professionally or personally — changes dramatically. These curveballs can come because of an intentional shift in our goals, or from challenges and circumstances over which we have no control. Either way, there’s no use in holding onto the past. You have to leave behind the trappings and the baggage of your old dream, and ditch the regrets for what could have been and the guilt for the path you “should” have taken. When plans change, one must find a new purpose, and press onward.

Books. Reading had been a welcome source of entertainment for the men while they lived on the Endurance. But given their size and weight, there was no way the books could be bought along on the march.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: Studying and educating ourselves about who we want to be and how best to do something is absolutely vital. But there also comes a time when you have to move beyond the realm of the abstract and hypothetical, get moving, and try to do the thing yourself.

Suitcases. The men did not simply leave their suitcases behind, but instead used the leather from them to make something that was badly needed: new boots.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: I love this one, because the men took the thing that holds all the stuff you tote along for a trip, and transformed it into something to sheath the only true essential you need for a journey: your own two feet. It captures the essence of traveling light. In all areas of our lives, from paring down how much stuff we own, to peeling back the influence of media and popular culture in order to find our own beliefs, to homing in on our life’s purpose, we are well-served in stripping away the dross in search of the essential core.

What They Kept

Toothbrush. When it came to cleanliness on the expedition, Lansing describes the men as divided into two camps: “some men scrubbed their faces in snow whenever the weather permitted. Others purposely let the dirt accumulate on the theory that it would toughen their skin against frostbite.” But there was a general consensus when it came to the importance of caring for one’s teeth, and thus most of the men chose a toothbrush as one of the few precious items to bring with them. Thousands of miles from the nearest dentist, a painful problem with one’s teeth could have spelled real trouble on the march.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: As you can see, the idea that daily tooth brushing is one of the habits every young man should develop is endorsed by Arctic explorers! But one can find a deeper meaning here beyond the necessity of keeping your chompers in good condition. There are many things in our life that require mundane daily maintenance to keep on top of, and while consistency in these small, regular efforts may not be fun, they ultimately prevent the creation of huge problems and pain down the line.

Religious items. Many of the men kept small reminders of their faith. Shackleton had his few pages of the Bible. Tom Crean kept a devotional scapular that he had worn around his neck since he was a young man. Such tokens offered strength and comfort to the men in incredibly trying circumstances, while also reminding them of their families and their roots as well.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: Faith, spirituality, and philosophy can offer meaning and purpose beyond ourselves and help us continue on when we face challenges and struggles. Our beliefs provide direction as to the big questions of who we are, why we are here, and where we are going, and moral reminders are key in helping us remember those answers.

Photographs. The most universal item the men chose to take with them were a few photographs of loved ones back home. Completely isolated at the bottom of the world and faced with traversing an alien terrain, they felt a million miles from their old lives. Photographs kept their connection to home alive and reminded them that there was something worth fighting to return to.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: Our relationships are truly the most valuable things in our lives. Connections with friends and family have been proven by science time and again to be the single biggest contributor to happiness. At the end of their lives, it’s their relationships that people look back on most fondly and regret not investing more time into. Our loved ones not only bring us joy and add a beautiful depth and richness to our lives, but also give us something to live for.

For some members of the expedition, the two-pound weight limit was relaxed to allow them to carry items with a value that was deemed worth the extra burden.

Medical supplies and instruments. The two surgeons amongst the crew were allowed to bring their first aid supplies and medical instruments; it didn’t matter how light the men were traveling if an injury or ailment kept them from moving at all.

  • As a symbol for our lives: Is there anything more valuable than our health? Good health must form the foundation of our lives, as achieving all our other aims becomes much harder, and sometimes impossible, if we are extremely obese, very sick, or quite dead.

Banjo. Leonard Hussey’s five-string banjo weighed 12 pounds – making it practically an anvil compared with each man’s Spartan allotment. But Shackleton insisted it be lashed underneath one of the lifeboats and brought along. “It’s vital mental medicine,” he said, “and we shall need it.” He was right. At the end of their grueling journey, Shackleton credited the banjo’s music and the crew’s frequent sing-alongs “to being a vital factor in chasing away symptoms of depression.”

  • As a symbol for our lives: Oftentimes when we’re trying to turn our lives around, we concentrate on getting rid of what’s not working: throwing out our junk, ending toxic relationships, quitting bad habits. But becoming the man you want to be can never be entirely about emptying yourself of the bad; you must also fill the newly created space with the good. We need people/hobbies/traditions in our lives that brighten the way and bring us joy and fulfillment.

Diaries. The men who kept diaries were allowed to bring them along. These journals later proved invaluable in the ability of Shackleton and future authors and historians to create and share with the world a richly detailed account of the expedition, ensuring that this epic story of survival, courage, and leadership would not be forgotten.

  • As a symbol for our own lives: In a literal way, keeping a journal offers numerous benefits. In a symbolic way, understanding our personal histories, whether written down or simply etched in our brains, is essential to making progress in our lives. What experiences made us who we are today? What dreams and ideals from our youth do we want to carry into our manhood? What mistakes did we make in the past that we don’t want to repeat?

Conclusion

If you were faced with the same kind of decision as the members of the Endurance crew, which of your personal possessions would you take and which would leave behind? What does the nature of your selections reveal about what you truly value in your life?

On a deeper level, what attitudes and behaviors are you carrying with you that are actually weighing down your progress on your own 20 Mile March? What negative habits have become a burden, keeping you from becoming the man you want to be?

Once you answer such questions, the most important question then becomes: are you putting your time and money where you mouth is? Are you investing the resources of your life into what you truly value, or are you wasting them on things, that, if push came to shove, you would ultimately leave behind in an icy grave?

 

_________________

Sources:

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

South: The Story of Shakleton’s 1914-1917 Expedition by Ernest Shackleton

Tom Crean: Unsung Hero of the Scott and Shackleton Antarctic Expeditions by Michael Smith

 

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Todd October 7, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Great article. It’s always helpful to know how others, in true survival situations, approached it. I also appreciate the attention the author took to point out the application to our own lives.

The article reminded me about the story of the Essex. There’s another great article in that story! ;-)

Peace,
Todd

2 Done by Forty October 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Incredible post. Those are great life lessons.

3 Clint Flatt October 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Shackelton is one of my greatest heros what he accomplished was the greatest survival story in history. Survivors all have one thing in common something to live for; family, religion, power to overcome, anything that keeps those fires burning in your heart are important. My EDC is more than two pounds! I guess I have some work to do?

4 hagnat October 7, 2013 at 10:28 pm

u forgot to mention the dogs, which were taken with them after the Endurance sank, but which were sacrificed once they decided to reach the ocean…
i wonde what that would’ve meant

5 Reinhard Kargl October 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Trying to contrive lessons from this extreme and dramatic event is problematic. They also left all their animals behind. There was a great number of sledge dogs and one cat (for hunting rats and mice) on board the Endurance. They were all shot to death.

Shackleton recorded on October 29, 1915: “This afternoon Sallie’s three youngest pups, Sue’s Sirius, and Mrs. Chippy, the carpenter’s cat, have to be shot. We could not undertake the maintenance of weaklings under the new conditions. Macklin, Crean, and the carpenter seemed to feel the loss of their friends rather badly.”

Whether killing Mrs. Chippy (the cat, which actually was a male) was really necessary was a point of contention among some crewmen for a long time. Some never forgave Shackleton for this decision.

Regarding the bible: The sailors believed that leaving the Bible behind was a terrible thing to do. So even though Shackleton only wanted to take a few pages, the crew salvaged what was left and smuggled it along.

6 Jimmy October 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Yesterday we had a fire scare and loaded the cars for the possibility of evacuation, which thankfully never came to pass. Putting everything back at the end of the day, it was interesting to see what made it as an essential must-have and what items got put in once all the necessities were in and we were just waiting. Photographs took up the majority of the items. In the digital age, many photographs are on laptops or backup hard drives. Our old photo albums were something we could never replace. Those mean the most. It did not surprise me to see that the Endurance’s crew brought photographs in spades.

7 Tim UK October 8, 2013 at 6:41 am

This is one of my all time favourite examples of leadership in an impossible situation; every man made it out of there alive.

There is an interesting side story which is very relevant; the fate of the cat “Mrs Chippy”. This was in fact a male which had become part of the crew, especially for the carpenter who took it very badly when Shackleton ordered it to be shot (along with some of the weakest dogs).

That relationship deteriorated so badly that Shackleton helped deny the award of the Polar Medal to the man because of his insubordination at the time.

Right at the beginning, Shackleton considered and evaluated everything; emotion was secondary to survival which sometimes is still relevant today.

8 Carl Pettersson October 8, 2013 at 6:45 am

The Shackleton expedition is one of my favorite tales and one I return to again and again. Nice work on this clever (and inspiring) examination of one aspect of how they all survived.

9 jack getze October 8, 2013 at 8:48 am

Thank you for a good read — meaty stuff while I sipped my morning coffee. Do I really have my priorities right today?

10 sugapablo October 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

Added the book “Endurance” to my Amazon wish list.

11 Dustin October 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

That was a great article! It is a shame more men do not have this mindset.

12 JoMaC October 8, 2013 at 10:59 am

I recently watched the movie Objectified, which a documentary on the design of products. One of the speaker asked, “If your house was on fire right now, which of your things would you carry out? Think about that for a second, because it will reveal to you what your really value.”

So I thought about it and cleaned out my room of the less valuable things that are just there, by either throwing them out or putting them in donation boxes.

And after reading this excellent article, it continued to confirm the question, “What do I value?” and make whatever I answer either a priority or a keep as a treasure.

13 Jacob October 8, 2013 at 11:25 am

Gray morality, shallow culture, and relentless consumerism……it is indeed an icy landscape that we traverse in this day……..perhaps more so?

14 Lee October 8, 2013 at 11:27 am

The Kindle version of “South: The Story of Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Expedition” written by Sir Ernest Shackleton, is FREE today.

http://tinyurl.com/nf94htn

15 Brock October 8, 2013 at 11:34 am

Brett,

Really enjoyed this one. You mentioned a major/common regret of not spending enough time and energy on relationships. I think that is such a powerful thought. Whenever you are about to do something (say, for example, watch a movie or TV) think about laying on your deathbed and consider how the next 2 hours hours of your life will influence how that older you will feel.

Kind of morbid, I know, but it’s powerful.

-Brock

16 Marting04 October 8, 2013 at 11:54 am

sugapablo Endurance is an excellent book and well worth a purchase.

17 C.S. October 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Brett,
This is exactly the kind of article that brings me back to AoM time and again. A personal story mixed with honest and thoughtful analysis, then joined to timeless principles always serve to illuminate the path of happiness. Thank you!
-C.S.

18 Tom King October 8, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Great article, especially the bit about Doc Hussey’s banjo. Wrote a blog post about Doctor Hussey and cross-linked it to your post here. Turns out it was a banjo-zither, a cheaper, nearly indestructible instrument with a wooden back that was not only tougher than a traditional banjo, but could be strung as either a 4, 5 or 6-stringed instrument. Apparently, based on the shadows on the head of the banjo in the museum, he used 5 strings, though the museum only has 4 of them strung. Not surprising because the 5th string always has a tendency to break being pitched so high, especially if the tuning peg is on the headstock. I also linked to this story from my Banjo Hangout blog. Thought the community would be interested. – Tom

19 Viper October 8, 2013 at 2:29 pm

As a banjo player, I’ve always loved the story of the “Shackleton banjo.” Nice summation of how that relates to our own lives. Cheers!

20 Alejandro Cárdenas October 8, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Brett,

I do need to thank you for this article. It makes you humble, and apreciate your priorities in life. the true value of things.

21 JB October 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

This is a great article but I found myself reaching an odd conclusion and that is that I would bring nothing save maybe a pen and pad of paper. I have a good deal of possessions but none that I truly value. No photographs, no jewelry (save my wedding band but I have not really attached any emotional value to it). I’m not sure what this says about me.

22 Omar Carreto October 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Brett,
This is one great article to start off Tenacios-man Tuesday…well I really enjoyed the fact that the leader of the expedition Ernest Shackleton left all possessions, instead he took with him Psalm 23 which is a promise of God for our lives as well Job 38 where God says something between the lines like…Who is mankind to question God? Did you create yourselves? We brag about every invention here on earth, but can we demand the sun to rise every morning? these two Chapters are a daily reminder…that in the end all MAN needs is God. I can see why they survived such tragedy, when everything else fails God your creator won’t fail you.

23 Robert Steffens October 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Thank you so much for the article. It helped me to reevaluate my priorities and inspired me to be a deeper thinker and more intentional liver.

24 Brian October 9, 2013 at 12:20 am

…gonna go brush my teeth now.

25 Ben October 9, 2013 at 7:13 am

“Endurance” is the book that caused me to miss the one flight I’ve ever missed in my life. I was sitting in Heathrow Airport and completely missed all calls to board, including ones specifically for me as the last passenger. I had to rebook on a later flight, which cost me £125. It’s a good book.

26 Brad October 9, 2013 at 7:29 am

I first started reading about the Antarctica expeditions a few years ago. The one thing that struck me more than anything was that when they had to give up everything, they kept their journals. It’s a common theme that extends to other explorers. Shackleton, Scott, and their crews all kept journals and when forced to sacrifice everything, held on to their journals. Henry Morton Stanley in Africa went through some of the worst situations you can imagine, and he always kept his journal with him.
How is it that the act of keeping a journal, something these men wouldn’t sacrifice even when their lives depended on it, has gone out of fashion? These stories inspired me to keep a journal, and even if my day was filled with mundane stuff, to write something down everyday. Now, years later, as I look back at that journal, I’m glad I did it. And if I had to flee my house, I’d grab my journal before I left.

27 Shack October 9, 2013 at 7:54 am

You forgot the most important item, the photographer of the trip Frank Hurley kept his camera and all his negatives. How else would your article have these nice photos of the trip?!?!

28 nancy drew October 9, 2013 at 8:58 am

Actually, Shakleton only allowed the photographer to bring along a limited number of the glass plates, hence the limited number of photos that we have today. He knew that Hurley would try to smuggle more onto the sleds so he stood over Hurley and made him smash the plates while he watched.

Great and thought-provoking post!

29 Bruce Lancaster October 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

Wonderful material on both values and practicality in sorting priorities.
I’d like to hear more on this theme from some other experts on this sort of choosing…combat infantry and marine vets.
Soldiers carry:

*Their own gear that they are required to carry…weapons and subsistence stuff.

*more of the same as required for their mission and for their squad…extra machine gun belts, wire, tools, etc.

*some stuff of their own, from family photos to minor comfort items.

All infantry are demon weight cutters… many even cut half the handle off of their toothbrushes…as every ounce hurts.

I know lots of required stuff does get ditched because official and individual priorities seldom mesh…after WWI, most soldiers ditched gas masks. Mess gear was generally discarded except for a spoon and a cup. Oh, and a P38. Anything the soldier considered useless would eventually come up MIA.
Some weight was almost welcomed…no one is safe without LOTS of ammunition for the machine gun.

The personal stuff was of course entirely added weight…most probably started out with too much and discarded to a minimum.
What did they choose as their minimums?? What did people choose to carry out of Chosin Reservoir or into the Mekong Delta?

30 Bruce Willman October 9, 2013 at 1:11 pm

I am betting it was a Brown Scapular Mr. Crean wore. Our Lady will intercede in our trials. Been wearing one for almost 30 years.

31 Iain October 10, 2013 at 7:58 am

I see the cat has been mentioned already. The cat’s owner, the carpenter was my great-great-uncle, Henry (Harry) McNish. He and Shackleton never really got on by all accounts and as a result of trying to start a mutiny, Shackleton did not allow him to receive the Polar medal.

32 efrum October 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Wonderful article, and a good reminder to do a self-eval and adjust the sails accordingly. Thanks.

33 Tom October 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I’ve been considering my clutter the past three days. NOW I will act with a renewed clarity of mission! Thank you! (The Endurance is my all-time favorite!)

34 Corbin October 14, 2013 at 11:06 am

“What negative habits have become a burden, keeping you from becoming the man you want to be?”

If this statement doesn’t hit home…..nothing will.

What a truly great article. Thanks AOM!

35 Ryan Prochaska October 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

This article certainly reminded me of my own experience working on “The Ice”. I was allowed to bring no more than 35 lbs of personal gear for a six-month stay in a place nobody I knew had ever been. A person really learns who they are when they are forced to part with the external symbols that help us define ourselves.

36 Chester October 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Having recently moved to a new state into a larger home to accommodate our growing young family your article was timely, well-written, and thought provoking.
Thanks Brett and Kate.

37 LJ October 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm

A less contrived application of this story might be to take a good look at your 72 hour kit or bug out bag. Consider whether the point of such a kit is to take everything you might need, or the absolute essentials for survival, carefully selected in advance. Most rational organizations list a small number of items, but some people find it necessary to pile in more stuff. More isn’t better, especially if you have to walk to shelter. Some of your strength might have to go to helping children or seniors. Consider also what the effect of injury will have on your ability to truck around 40 pounds. Then simplify.

38 HEng October 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I very recently had the honour of meeting a man named Tim Jarvis who, together with 4 other men, has just come back from an expedition which they have named the ‘Shackleton Epic’. Direct descendants of Shackleton approached Mr. Jarvis to keep his name alive and so they recreated the whole expedition using the same boat, instruments and clothing of the time. Mr. Jarvis spoke for an hour about the expedition and it was inspiring to say the least. He is an impressive man. Fortunately for us all, it was recreated with the sponsorship of the Discovery Channel and they have produced three 1-hour episodes. I’m quite sure that it is airing on PBS in the States very soon (this month), and on the Discovery Channel in the UK – just google ‘The Shackleton Epic’. It will make for some epic viewing!

39 HEng October 19, 2013 at 8:55 am
40 Shyam sunder October 20, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Epic !!!

41 Chad October 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm

S*** that was deep, much more so than I expected. Very good read. Thanks!

42 Joe S November 4, 2013 at 5:28 pm

A really excellent read….it helps reset your priorities and reminds you of what really matters in life…your relationships and character, over material possessions.

43 Bjarke January 30, 2014 at 4:56 pm

We recently had a fire in my dormitory. I put on shoes and my warmest jacket, then made sure every room of the floor was empty and got everyone evacuated. Apparently I didn’t own a single possession i considered worth saving. It’s all just stuff, and most of it can be replaced. The rest I can do without.

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