We Americans own too much stuff. We have dishes we don't use stacked in our cabinets, clothes we don't wear hanging in our closets, and exercise equipment just wasting away under our beds (but not my bed -- I’ve never bought ANYTHING remotely related to sweating on purpose).
Our stuff is in control of our lives and we’re just members of the studio audience waiting for someone to tell us to clap.
Well, friends and neighbors, I plan to do something about all my stuff. I’m going to simplify the way I live, regain control of my closet space, and give everything I own to the welfare of others.
Everything except for my tent and sleeping bag.
My tent is the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. It’s not a cheap Mega-Mart tent. It’s a good four-season tent that’s just as cozy in the winter as it is in the summer. Combined with my polar expedition sleeping bag, I could go camping in Antarctica and remain as warm as a surfer on the beach in Malibu. Alas, I’ll probably never get to Antarctica to use them, but that’s not the point. I have them just in case I need them.
Other than my tent and sleeping bag, everything else is just stuff on its way out – except for my books.
I have so many books that it would be easier for me to open up my own library than to have them hauled away. If you like mystery books, I have a shelf full. If you prefer horror books, I have three shelves full. Books on relationships and turning yourself into a better person? Sorry! I got rid of that stuff a long time ago.
I could never give away my books, just as I could never give away any of my musical instruments (which include a banjo, trumpet, harmonica, two homemade didgeridoos, three rain sticks, 13 penny whistles, 21 bamboo flutes, four guitars, and a goat-skinned Irish bodhran which my family doesn’t know about -- so please, let’s keep it a secret).
Other than that, everything I've got is just stuff, and I'll soon be kicking it out the door.
Friends and neighbors, I submit that all our problems of today – global warming, high gas prices, home foreclosures, unemployment, the war on terror, the Tea Party – all of our problems are due to the gross accumulation of stuff. Without stuff, our world would be a better place, we would be better people, and our children wouldn’t stress out about what they’re going to do with all our stuff when we kick the bucket.
So I ask you: Do you have piles of clothes you never wear? Do you have more knicks and knacks than you could ever shake a paddywhack at? Do you have to use a machete to blaze a trail through your bedroom? If you said yes, then join me as I make 2010 the year of “No More Stuff.”
Together, we can change the world – or at least our living rooms.