Nine days before TED2008, filmmaker David Hoffman lost almost everything he owned in a fire that destroyed his home, office and 30 years of passionate collecting. He looks back at a life that’s been wiped clean in an instant — and looks forward.

This is a short piece (a little over 4 minutes) with a very important theme — we are not our things. Despite what you may think, the material things you own do not define you as an individual. This is a message worth remembering throughout your life but especially in these troubled economic times.