Lost & Found sometimes is code for Abandoned


Man and woman holding luggage, George Eastman House, Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/55Avir

They’re together and each is carrying their own luggage. Hmmm…interesting.

If I carry luggage that doesn’t belong to me, in addition to my own luggage,  I have abandoned myself. If someone else allows me to continuously carry their luggage while just standing by, they have abandoned themselves and me.

I know now that I didn’t advocate for the appropriate load for myself because I didn’t have the tools. I was programmed not to know about them because of someone else’s lack of capacity to do the right thing and level the load. Fear, inadequacy, neglect, shame, guilt, anxiety, addiction and depression are all bags from someone else’s past. I don’t have to carry those bags. It is not a failure, in fact it is quite the opposite. 

“Step aside Guilt and let this good person through! Stop impeding their path.” 

Visualizing each unhealthy dynamic crystallizes just how many pieces of luggage we’re talking about here…I realize that I might as well have left the luggage at the claim because there was no way in hell ANY human could have carried all of it – even with a big ass cart! This is not about intellect. This is about unreasonable expectations that ignore capacity theory and capability measures. The axiom is this: Regardless of the form of the luggage, if I agree to carry it, the load is the same. Tangibly leave it, intangibly take it…doesn’t matter. 

“Dammit prof, sometimes I hate lectures.”

Never mind.


See this guy is carrying his own luggage…


John Henry Mears (LOC). Bain News Service, publisher. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

The lady below is carrying her own luggage…


Alice Milerkowsky 1944. “I went into the WAC-Army because the Navy wouldn’t accept me because I wore glasses.” Collection of The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Hartford, https://flic.kr/p/6FBNVA

Whoa, check out all that luggage! Where are the owners? Have they left all of those bags behind? Who are they without their luggage? Are they still the same people? Are they better off without it? What will happen to the luggage if nobody claims it? Why should anybody care?


Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA, hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print


I see possibilities everywhere. 



4 thoughts on “Lost & Found sometimes is code for Abandoned

  1. One of my favorite things to say is: I leave my luggage where it belongs, stowed away. I do, however, have a small valise that is my carry-on. And I carry it myself, with no need or expectation of someone else’s help carrying it. In that little valise I keep my small fears, the lessons learned from my past, and my heart. And above all, I guard it. Good for you that you can recognize your own luggage from the mess of another’s. My suggestion? Paint yours hot pink…it’ll never be mistaken among the millions of black bags that could (or could not) belong to those around you. 🙂

  2. Oh so awesome is this post!! Thank you for sharing this 🙂 . ‘Seeing’ the luggage is such an easier way to imagine and then seriously consider putting someone else’s down… Love love love it. This post all on its own have me such an inner relief in the reading.
    Btw, the picture of luggage left behind. Amusing and curious. What does happen when we leave it. What happens to that big pile of ‘stuff’… I wonder if each and every one of the owners even misses their ‘luggage’. I like to think that some people just feel lighter for having left it behind, and even if they notice their bag is gone, maybe the don’t go back for it because they find they can’t even recall what was in their bag…or whether there was anything that important inside anyway… Hmmm.

    • Glad you found it to be useful! I tend to favor visualizations of information and data so thinking about the tangibility of luggage, regardless of size, also left me with some amusing thoughts.

      I think you’re correct in that people are afraid to let go of their stuff and can easily convince themselves that they need it without questioning whether or not that’s true – or just comfortable and familiar.

      Dude, I’m tahhhhrrrrrd of carrying around this shit. 😀

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