I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my stuff. It’s hard not to coming off of Black Friday.
Like most of us, I have a lot of stuff. And, a lot of it I bought quite unconsciously.
That was really highlighted when my good friend and business partner, Evan Fry, lost everything in the Fourmile Fire here in Boulder.
What would you do if you lost all of your things and had to start over?
I’ve been inspired how Evan has approached the process of replacing his stuff. Everything he buys now is consciously consumed. It’s curated. It has purpose.
And, I thought to myself, how do I do that?
I’ve always found that when I focus on giving away my stuff, I think more consciously about it. Why did I buy this? What does it mean to me?
The Lakota Indians practiced a Give Away Ceremony on special occasions.
“Indian people do not judge each other by how much money they make or by the amount of things they own, but rather by how much a person gives away. Kindness, thoughtfulness, and sincerity by a person towards his fellow man is shown when prized possessions are given away freely. Unlike the potlatch, receivers of gifts are not expected to give something of greater value in return.”
Maybe that’s it. Maybe instead of thinking about consuming we should all think a bit more about giving things away. It doesn’t matter what it is. A t-shirt. A coffee cup. A magazine. A car. Old clothes. Books. For that matter maybe things don’t even need to be physical. They could also include advice, time, an answer to a question, or even a presentation. It’s the act of giving more than the thing itself.
With that spirit in mind, I propose that we start a new hashtag on Twitter. Like #followfriday let’s start using #give5. Each month let’s give away at least five things. And, document it with #give5.
Maybe, if we start giving our some of our stuff away we’ll start acting more like the Lakotas and have to space to foster more kindness, thoughtfulness and sincerity.
And, like Evan, maybe we’ll have the space to consume things more consciously.
Will you join me?