Small and Simple


What Are You Willing To Get Rid of Right Now?

If you’ve been keeping up with the culture, you probably know there is something called the “tiny house movement.” In fact, in yesterday’s NY Times, there was an article about a woman who lives in a little cabin in the woods that measures 84 square feet. She also keeps her possessions at a minimum, a little over 300 at last count.  I think I have her beat in that area, as I arrived in Panama, February 1, 2013 with everything I owned cut down to fit into two suitcases, one backpack and a carry-on.  Since then, I have added a printer to replace the one I left behind, a toaster, a blendor, and a scale.  Having lived in an RV, on a small houseboat, and in an 8 x 6 foot prison cell, I am used to and quite comfortable with small spaces–and my modest one bedroom apartment here feels spacious.

But I don’t think it’s the amount of possessions and the size of the space one lives in that is really significant. Those are just physical symptoms of a new kind of mindset. I would venture to say that those people who have changed their lifestyle in this way are thinking differently, in a more focused way. In this world of information and sensation overload we all share, the ability to pick and choose becomes an empowering one. I’ll bet there isn’t a lot of multitasking going on in those tiny houses. The woman in the NY Times article was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, and therefore had a powerful motive for assessing her life and lifestyle, and deciding what was really important. We all don’t really need such a shock to the system or wake-up call to move in a different direction.

Each one of us can choose to think smaller and perhaps create more wide open spaces in our minds.



About the Author Jerry

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