At the end of the Watergate 50th Anniversary coverage by the Washington Post, the moderator pointed out an odd item that had conspicuously been sitting on the table. It turned out to be the actual doorknob that was taped open in the Watergate burglary! The mechanism had been saved (miraculously!) and mounted — and eventually purchased by Washington Post/Amazon owner Jeff Bezos who loaned the artifact for the occasion.

How cool would it be to own such a unique piece of history? It got me thinking about what one-of-a-kind thing I would own if money and logistics were no problem (and assuming the item still exists). For me, maybe the “Bartlet for America” napkin from the West Wing. Others suggested the flag from Iwo Jima, the quill used to sign the Emancipation Proclamation, or Luke Skywalker’s original light saber.

Some takeaways from all this: 1) think about what you would own if you could — it’s a great reflection question that you might need to ruminate on for a while; 2) it’s also a great icebreaker question, even for people that know each other fairly well, and 3) keep the future in mind. Someone had the foresight to preserve that lock — be that someone for a piece of your organization’s or family’s history.

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