This is a great song by Malvina Reynolds, listening to it makes you think about how strong social influences are. Are these influences the best for us? Do they limit us? Do they stifle us? How does it impact our happiness? It makes you think….
I often talk of the downfall of society, consumerism, political injustice, McMansions and suburban sprawl. But today I was taking a walk and thinking about things in life and what is really important to me. I was reminded of a saying that a middle school teacher used to preach to us, but I never really hit home till much later
Today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present.
I then stumbled across this video and really liked the message so enjoy.
So TODAY take time with what is important.
Freedom from stuff, freedom from excess space, freedom of time, freedom from cleaning. All of these things take time, energy, money, and resources, going smaller means these demands are reduced drastically. You then have freedom to do what you want, what is important, what really matters in your life.
McMansions cost allot of money, I am sure you have noticed. The average US house costs around $265,000. But it doesn’t stop there! In order for you to get into that big house, you have to get a mortgage, which by the time you pay for it; it will cost you two to three times that, so roughly $800,000. Then add maintenance, insurance, furnishing such a large space, cleaning products, etc.
Then there is the risk that comes with a mortgage, even with buying a house that is conservative for your income, even if you save for 3-6 months of pay in case you get laid off (which 95% of Americans don’t budget for), you could still lose your home after paying it off for 28 out of the 30 years you have on it. So factor the cost, plus risk, then consider the opportunity cost, you could be well in the hole close to 1.5 million dollars and then be left homeless.
The tiny life is indeed freedom: freedom from long-term mortgages, freedom from unnecessary possessions, and freedom from the both the expected and unexpected headaches larger living brings.
But it is not only freedom from, it is also freedom for: freedom to have more discretionary income to use wisely or to save; freedom for economies of scale; freedom for more focused energy to harness one’s will and talents with less encumbrance.
Sometimes our possessions come in the way of our self-actualizing.
Just as sadly, have we reached a point where we have allowed our possessions and the size of our homes or dwellings or that of others to define who we are and determine our self-worth, let alone those of others?
Perhaps the tiny life will bring us more into contact with those who do not allow the amount or type or “size” of one’s possessions blind them to the inherent dignity and self-worth of everyone.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”