Monday, January 25, 2010

The Power of Half

I've always been one to live simply. Stuff is just....well, stuff. I live in a little house in a fun area in the city. I'm only a few blocks from a couple of lakes, close to downtown, and have lots of great places to walk. I'm a renter with no real desire to own a home. Maybe that is weird in today's world, or maybe it is just that I moved around so much as a kid. Or maybe it is just the free-spirited redhead in me.

I like a warm, comfortable home as much as anyone else. I like my books, need my clothes. But the fact is, I get to a point every so often when I go through what I have and give away what I have not worn or am not using. I hate the fact that something is collecting dust in my house when someone else might really need it. I do not have garage sales, I do not sell it. I give it away in the hopes it will help someone else. I prefer to keep it simple, and to make a difference at the same time. To quote Thoreau, "Simplify...simplify."

I came across a new book recently which is based on a family who took their teenage daughter's suggestion to heart. They sold their home, bought a smaller home, and gave fifty percent of the proceeds to charity. This led to other things....and the story of The Power of Half:
Through The Power of Half, our family set out to make a small difference in the world and ended up transforming ourselves. We found that creating a "half" project was an amazing powerful tool to building deeper connections and trust among us. While the book tells our family story, this site is designed to help you learn more about giving and hopefully to better bond your family, community or any group through a unified sense of purpose.
Let's face it, in a very materialistic world where people compete to have more stuff - bigger houses, fancier cars...maybe we need to remember that old saying of "you can't take it with you." There are actually people who have such a huge accumulation of belongings that they can't park their car in their garage or have to keep getting more storage space.

The truth is, someone with a normal size apartment in America actually looks very wealthy to many other people throughout the world. So, appreciate what you have, give what you don't need or use, and learn to live more simply. Because, seriously, more and more stuff, actually just becomes clutter. Or, as stated in one of my favorite quotes by Steven Wright: "You can't have everything, where would you put it?"

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