And here I am, nearly halfway through the year, and so far, so good. Truthfully, I haven't bought much used either. I have borrowed a few things, but mostly I have found that I don't really need anything, new OR used.
There are and were many motivations for this lifestyle change. First of all, I'm tired of my house being cluttered with junk. Secondly, I'm tired of wasting money on things that I don't need. Thirdly, how can I possibly buy another CD or a cute little picture frame when there is a woman in my own city who can't afford to heat her house or buy shoes for her daughter? How can I buy a new coffee mug that costs $15 when that $15 could be used to provide water for 15 Africans for an entire year? How could I spend $32 on a new sweater when that could provide a whole month's worth of education, food, and supplies to a little boy living in Latin America?
I answered those questions by simply saying, "I can't."
We often see horrible realities on TV or on the street corner and we are left asking "why?"
"Why do I live in a nice, warm, safe, home while there are children in Iraq who have holes in their roof and bullets flying at their heads?"
"Why do the movie stars get bags of goodies worth thousands of dollars for attending the Oscars while a husband cannot afford the medication needed to relieve his dying wife of her pain?"
It doesn't seem fair, does it? I have often asked why life is like this, and most of the time I am on the privileged end of the unbalanced equation. Well, I have decided I can be part of the solution.
You see, the resources are available; there really is enough to go around. And the solution is in front of us: me, you, us.
Imagine if your sister was living on the streets. Would you not open up your house to her? What if your best friend needed medication to live and could not afford it? Would you not pay for it? What if your husband or wife was thirsty, would you not fix him/her a glass of water? I imagine the answer to all of these questions is "yes!" So why is it different when the people in need are located in Africa, New Orleans, or even downtown Nashville? It shouldn't be.
There is a solution, but I am sad to say that my pride and selfishness all too often get in the way. So I am trying to make changes in my life. And by choosing to be wiser about where, how, and on what I spend my money, I have so much more that I can give to people who are truly in need. Seriously, my last credit card bill was half of what it normally is! That was amazing! So now I have more money to help "the least of these."
I realize that to some of you this all sounds too idealistic. Maybe it is. I do realize there are a lot of questions and a lot of directions you can go in with all of this. I know it's not necessarily "simple". But it certainly is worth trying.