30 Days of Truth: A book that changed mePosted: August 27, 2014
30 Days of Truth: A book that changed your views on something
I read 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, at a time in my life where I didn’t have any of the things I thought made someone a successful adult. I was missing a wardrobe of highly fashionable, high quality clothing, two reliable cars, a nice house with a yard, art on my walls, and the ability to eat organic, travel, and consume forms of entertainment like concerts and broadway.
This book, written by Jen Hatmaker (the very Christian woman who I am certain would not endorse this blog in any way, shape or form ha ha–Sorry Jen), opened my eyes to the truth of what it is that we really “need”. This book was written by a woman who limited herself to 7 things in 7 categories for 7 months. For instance, she spent one month eating only 7 foods, another wearing only 7 items of clothing. And she wrote this story while she was doing it–“from the trenches”, as she says.
There are a lot of reasons for paring down and really examining the things we think we need to be happy, but for me, there were two major takeaways from this book. The first, is that I don’t need nearly as much as I think I need. There are plenty of people–entire villages–that get along with much less than what I have in my home alone. The second, is that excess hurts us all. Not only does it NOT fill the void that we are trying to fill when we purchase things we don’t need, but it also hurts the environment. Buying piles of cheap, throaway clothing ensures that landfills will continue to expand and that children will be working their fingers to the bone in factories overseas for a wage that is far less than fair. Too many electronics and modern conveniences wastes energy, and spending all of our money on ourselves instead of helping those in needs just adds to societal inequality. I am as guilty as anyone–the amount of money I waste on alcohol alone could probably provide for a family of 10 in certain places of the world.
I am not radical. I am not selfless. I am not a model global citizen. But this book did teach me to acknowledge my privlege, to think about where my consumer dollars are going, and to make sure I am doing what I can to help others when and where I can. I have learned to be content with less. I live in Canada, I have a computer (and another tiny one I keep in my pocket!), I have clothes to wear, food in the fridge, and a roof over my head. I’m freaking rich.