THE other day I was listening to You and Yours on Radio 4 when they were discussing cutting down on spending.

Various people phoned in to talk about their spending habits and their cars — one advised buying a car and driving it till the wheels fall off.

I was shocked to hear the interviewer ask him: “How do you separate your sense of who you are and your self from stuff? Many of us associate our happiness and importance in the world with the kind of car we are driving.”

The caller replied he had a 20-year-old car.

“But where do you draw your sense of self esteem from, and purpose?”

I was gratified when the man replied that it was not from what you owned or bought, but from the way you interact in society, friends, and being involved in community things that matters; that is what makes your life, not what you own or buy or even how you look.

What a wise man!

Do we really judge the worth of someone by the car he or she drives?

Does that reflect their kindness, compassion and ability to love?

I think not! As we know, society does not reward those who give the most — our doctors, teachers, nurses, ministers of religion. Instead it is the bankers, hedge fund managers, city lawyers and businessmen who generally reap the highest incomes.

But stuff does not bring happiness, and I think that having good friends and a loving family is worth more than anything that money can buy.

Carolyn Jones

Hon Sec Altrincham Interfaith Group

Member of Dunham Road Unitarian Chapel