My sister helped me clean out and organize my closet this past weekend. I was not surprised to find two old pairs of shoes in the back, dusty corner of my closet. We all have the corner where we put things we do not want to get rid of yet do not really see the need of keeping. While I found it very easy to let go of many of the things in my closet, I have always found it hard to just throw away an old pair of shoes. Me of all people,since I am so against having clutter and just having things, ought to be fine with tossing aside a worn out pair of shoes that I surely can’t wear anymore. In fact, one of the pairs of shoes was in such bad shape that the entire left heel was missing and on the other pair a heel was dangling by some mysterious thread. Why would I be tempted to shove them back into that corner and act as if we had never happened upon them in the beginning?
While I often stand here advocating for people to realize not only the beauty but also the importance of simplicity, I want to also make it clear that I am against wastefulness. In some ways my argument for not taking more that we need is against wastefulness, but really when I make that argument it is more of a spiritual standpoint and just my plain confusion againt why people even want stuff. Does having all this stuff not bother anyone else? In another sense, though, my standpoint on living a more free life without clutter can seem kind of wasteful. If you are a person with a lot of things and you take what I say to heart or just decide to take a different turn in life, you could end up throwing away a lot of things. Throwing away in two sense: The literal where what you now deemed useless to yourself ends up in a smelly trash can next to a half eaten PB&J and thrown away in the second sense, as in donated or given away.While I don’t have the number on any of this, from personal experience I want to say that most people donate as much as they can or see fit. Yet, I know that there is a great sense of trash in our culture, where we seem to more often think of the large, green bin around back instead of a big ,blue bin in the parking lot of our grocery store.I do understand that some things just really are not the sort of things other people want after they have been used by an unknown person.Sometimes even certain things are not okay to be passed on to a family member or close friend and for sanitary reasons ought to be tossed. Yet, I think for the majority of things we clean out of our homes, donation is an acceptable route to go. Secondly, sometimes the place of donation is not really clear to us. This is what was running through my mind with the two pairs of shoes I held in my hand.I knew that if I gave them to a donation center they would probably take one look at them and then toss them anyway. I knew that by donating them I would only be wasting their time.I also knew that throwing them away was extremely wasteful. I could not get that feeling of utter nonchalance towards throwing things away out of my mind when I was debating what to do with them. I knew that someone somewhere would still uses the shoes. Somebody , who maybe was not worried about looking presentable for school or being able to walk perfectly down the streets in a hurry. Maybe somebody who was never in a hurry but just needed something to cover their feet could use those shoes. This world is a vast place and often the need of so many people is forgotten. While, I did not know anyone in particular who needed a pair of shoes, I did know that somebody out there ,amidst the din of life, needed a pair of shoes. If I followed suit with the emphasis we put on used things being utter garbage I felt I would be denying that person the possibility of covering their feet.
The spirit of wastefulness if garbage, not the things we so often throw away without a second thought.
Though I am well aware we can’t save everything or put everything to good use; I think in general, it is more about being aware of what we are doing and watching out for different ways to reuse and pass things on. It is about thinking twice before taking out the trash.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
-Wishing you the most joyous of days,Eva
” Me and the pe, we are one. If its ink would cease to flow, my ink would cease to flow.”