Think fast: What’s the most valuable thing that you own? What would you grab first if your house was on fire? More than likely, the thing you’re thinking of is high in emotional (not monetary) value.
For a project called “What We Really Value,” credit comparison site TotallyMoney.com asked 50 photographers in 20 different countries to give photographic answers to these very questions.
The resulting images and quotes will make you think long and hard about your own valuables. Here, we highlight a few that struck a chord with us.
MY GRANDFATHER'S COFFEE CUP: 'This is the cup my grandfather used to drink his coffee from every morning. Now I do the same.' -- Nikos, Pastra, Greece
A HAND-ME-DOWN MIT: 'I grew up playing softball with this glove, which was given to me by my father. Today, my own son uses it.' -- Dyana, Wisconsin
A SYMBOL OF FREEDOM: 'I can go virtually anywhere with (this). Without it I am trapped.' -- Whitney, Stone Mountain, Georgia
MY SMENA-8: 'My dad got me this for my seventh birthday . . . I've used it for at least eight years. Some of the best moments of my life were captured using this Smena-8. I still love that sound the shutter makes.' -- Siniša, Stanišić, Serbia
MY BASS GUITAR: 'I bought this guitar with my very first paycheck. It was for a band that I was forming with my friend. Sadly he passed away. I keep it to remind me of the dreams I had, and the friend I lost.' -- Debapriya, Kolkata, India
A PIECE OF FAMILY HISTORY: 'This book was given to (my father) in 1937 as a class prize. Not only was it read to him as a child, it was also read to me. One day I hope to read it to my children.' -- Deborah, Roanoke, Virginia
MY HAPPY HARMONICA: 'This harmonica lifted my spirits and gave me confidence when I was at the lowest point of my life . . . Whenever I'm down, playing this instrument magically brightens my day.' -- Ritesh, Hyderabad, India
MY FATHER'S WORK GLOVES: '(These remind) me that in everything I do I should think of how will I pay back all my father's sacrifices.' -- Mark, Iligan, Philippines
A PHOTO OF MY MOTHER: 'If I were to lose everything else I possess, I would want to keep the visual memory of my mother. Everything else could eventually be replaced, but I don't want to forget the face of the one who raised me to be who I am today.' -- Lauren, Bucharest, Romania
MY GOODBYE DRUMSTICK: 'This is the only remaining drumstick in my possession from my last music gig in Belgrade. I threw the other one into the audience for good luck. I call it my last performance goodbye stick.' -- Dejan, Belgrade, Serbia
LATE '90s TIR CAMERA: 'This was the first camera I ever got. I was very little at the time and it remains very special to me today. It's my favourite thing.' -- Nizamuddin, Dhaka, Bangladesh
MY BRASS KNUCKLES: 'These were given to me by an old friend because I was robbed quite a few times when taking the subway late at night. Having these on me gives me confidence that I can do as much damage, if not more, than my attacker. I've never actually used them on anyone, but it's good to know they're with me if I ever need to defend myself.' -- Anon, Brooklyn, New York
MY GRANDFATHER'S POEMS: 'This notebook belonged to my grandfather in the early 1960s. He used to write his own poetry and also wrote out other people's poems which he liked. Because I never got the chance to meet him, reading his poetry and just looking at his handwriting makes me feel close to him.' -- Hira, Karachi, Pakistan
MY GRANDFATHER'S CLOCK: 'This clock belonged to my great grandfather, and I grew up with it in the house. I was fascinated by it as a child, as I saw my father wind it every morning. It doesn't work anymore, but I hold on to it because of that memory of my father.' -- Arshad, Karachi, Pakistan
MY GRANDFATHER'S TAPE MEASURE: 'My great grandfather and grandfather started a saw works company. This little tape measure (which they used to give as a gift to their customers) feels like a bridge in time.' -- David, Ohio
MY HANDMADE PENCIL CASE: '(This) was one of the last things (my grandfather) made before he passed away. I did not have the chance to get to know him that well.' -- John, Ragaciems, Latvia
MY LATE FATHER'S WATCH: 'My father left me his watch, which was given to him by his mother. This watch has travelled from Switzerland to Canada and then to Ukraine.' -- Paul, Ternopil, Ukraine
MY RUBIK'S CUBE: 'I didn't have many toys growing up because my family couldn't afford them. My mother bought me this when I was 10 years old. Eleven years on, aged 21, I'm still not that good at it, but wherever I go I bring it with me in my bag. It makes me feel happy.' -- Sly, Digos, Philippines
MY ZIPPO: 'This 1941 Zippo was a gift from my girlfriend on my 25th birthday. I'm not a smoker but I like the sound (that click) a Zippo makes when opened. I like the smell of the gas and the flame it produces. It's a symbol that sums up the person I love the most and our relationship.' -- Cristian, Bucharest, Romania
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