I read this in a book called Radical Compassion by Gary Smith S.J.
I think this is probably true for all of us at one time or another....find people to fill the void.
"Things give meaning to the lives of people who are deprived of authentic human contact. It is not necissarily a quirk of the poor: the millionaire builds and otentatious house; the CEO wears a Rolex; the politician has a few people in his pocket; the dictator has his disposable army; the preacher surrounds herself with unread theology books. Collecting things fills gaps in our hearts and gives expression to an internalized deprivation from the past."