the challenge

I have been reading many books lately about poverty and homelessness.  Among those are Under the Overpass, Trolls and Truth and Irresistible Revolution.  I have a long list of other books that I have on my reading list, but one at a time.  😉

The one thing I love about all of the books is these are all about ‘ordinary radicals’, people that have chosen to sacrifice their life to follow Jesus’ examples of living.

I bought the domain name trashsociety.com a while back, with many different intentions of what I could do with it.  We have so much waste in our American culture.  We are raised to do anything and everything that will make our lives easier and more comfortable.  Well I am finally uncomfortable with comfort and irritated with ease.  There is so much suffering in the world and we can all make a difference by intentionally choosing to make some simple changes in the way we live.

A few months ago, I was channel flipping on my TV (my nice big flat screen TV that I just really needed to buy with the monthly satellite TV package that everyone needs in order to live because we must be entertained if we’re awake, right?) and came across a show called Hoarders.  If you haven’t seen this show, check it out http://www.aetv.com/hoarders/index.jsp.  It’s a little bit like watching a wreck.  It’s awful, quite disturbing and yet you want to look at it.  I’ve watched many episodes of it and came to one conclusion.  The only difference between these hoarders that are being showcased for reality show entertainment and the rest of us watching is that the rest of us don’t have a problem getting rid of our stuff.  We buy stuff, lots of stuff and when we are tired of it, we give it away or worse yet, throw it away.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have been guilty of this many times in my life.  And being a person who loves to buy used things, shop at thrift stores and is all about getting a great deal, I appreciate that someone bought these things new.  If people didn’t buy new cars and sell them, there would be no used cars for people like me to buy, which by the way, I drive a 14 year old car that I bought used.  I wouldn’t trade it in even if I had unlimited money.

So now that I’ve yapped a long time, let me step down from my soap box.  What’s the challenge?  The challenge is no new stuff for one year. This means no shopping in retail stores, with the exception of groceries and toiletries.  (I don’t want CPS taking my kids away for my radicalness)  Groceries and toiletries are the only new things we will buy and will, in the process, learn better ways to make those purchases.  The only places we will shop is thrift stores or resale shops.  No major purchases either.  Now the one small issue here is that sometimes I have to buy things at work for stage sets or marketing.  I will still have to make those purchases because I need my job.  (Or do I?  Okay, a subject for another time)

I will be blogging this challenge.  It started yesterday, May 27, 2010.  Stay tuned…

About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
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3 Responses to the challenge

  1. Nancy says:

    Jody, I’m so impressed! As we talked about yesterday, I’ve heard of this idea, but we weren’t that brave yet. I want to do something similar. In the meantime, I am happy to encourage and support you in your efforts and be inspired by the challenge!

  2. Janelle says:

    You have sparked my interest.

    A few questions before I commit to anything. What about travel. We buy airline tickets, and such. This is just retail stuff, clothes, toys, etc. We have very little retail here and I shop so little I think I would like to try and see if I can do it. I just want to get a good idea of the parameters. We do a lot of travel and I am not sure how that would fit in. We have no fast food and we never go out to eat unless we are traveling. I buy running shoes every six months that would be a major purchase. My mind is spinning with all the what if’s. But if I open the door to this and that it all comes flooding in. So, at the risk of a thousand questions can you give me a bit more info. on how you are planning on proceeding. Things like my kids need winter boots here or else they will freeze. We only buy one pair each per year but they are new. Same with the coats. Ok, I am again throwing out a million questions. Would just love to know how you plan on proceeding with all those little things.

    I think it is a great idea!

    Janelle

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