This idiom has been around for some time. In knowing I was going to entitle my blog post this I did a little research. I encourage you to do the same as I ran into much-copyrighted pages which have left me unable to share. It has been a wet week for us as we are in the end stages of Hurricane, now tropical storm Harvey. For us, the weather has been a little bit of a nuisance but as of yet, no damage. For our friends and neighbors down in Houston, sadly this is not the case. There are many tales of loss, life, belongings, and homes. The things we take for granted every day. So I am going to take some time to share my thoughts on this tragedy related to minimalism.
If you are reading this, you are probably a minimalist, aspiring to be or at least interested in the topic. We are as you well know aspiring minimalist or minimalists in training. We woke up one afternoon and decided this life was for us. If you live in a tiny home on wheels and you are informed one of these monster hurricanes are coming, you have the ability to hook that baby up and drive it away. The citizens of Houston who live in brick and mortar homes did not have that option. They did not wake up and say, “Today I think I will give up everything I own except that which is on my back, and trudge through the water until I reach safety.” No, they have become unintentional minimalists.
Unintentional minimalism is not fun. I became an unintentional minimalist several time’s in my life through different circumstances. The first time was when I was thirteen and our family home caught on fire. We lost everything and went to live in a tiny apartment until the repairs were done. I didn’t even have shoes, I ran from our burning house to inform my aunt next door what was happening, dragging my two young brothers in tow. My father stayed behind and put on his boots, he made it out safely. My mother was at the grocery store, imagine her coming home to a raging fire not knowing the fate of her three young children and husband. Later on the next day, the Salvation Army and a few other charities showed up and lent a hand. The second time I gave up everything fleeing from an abusive partner. After a few weeks, I reclaimed a few of my belongings. There was a third time when we moved halfway across the country and could only bring two boxes.
As I go through my house now, each day I do not mourn the loss of any of my items. I chose to do this, and I accepted that I had too many things. I am happy to ditch all that is holding me back. It wasn’t the case after the fire, I and the rest of my family felt the loss of what was left behind (things) as I am sure the folks in Houston will eventually. Right now they are just trying to survive, and grievously some have not. How can we help people so far away who are deep in the struggle? I have a few thoughts on the subject.
Camping World Supercenters (some are not supercenters) is accepting new and gently used clothing starting today. You could contribute financially to any one of the many well-known organizations pledging to donate to Texas relief. I believe Facebook is doing one of those types of collections. Forbes has published an article that lists a breakdown of responsible giving you can find the article here:
My point is, give where your heart is, and if you can’t afford to help then send up a prayer or good thought I am sure they know you are thinking of them. If you’re becoming a minimalist, maybe box up some of the household goods (pots and pans) blankets, towels and bed sheets you are sending out the door, and place them in your garage/attic/spare room. Label them Harvey, and after a time people will need those as well.
If you’re an animal lover like us the aforementioned article has many ways you can help the furry dwellers of Houston. I’m leaving you with a pic of our furry babies, we will talk about them later in another post. They are comfortable warm and well fed, others are not so lucky. If you’re reading this and you have been affected by the storm, and know other places people can help, please place them in the comments. We are thinking of you Houston and surrounding areas.
Left (Luna), Right-Top (Annika and Zoey respectively), Right-Bottom (Leia)