This past week before the kids went back to school, I did the “Annual Purge”. We go through all their clothes, hand down the sizes, and go through all the bins. It is quite a production. With three girls still living at home, there are a lot of clothes and shoes to go through, hand down, and donate. We do this before we go school clothes shopping, so we know what they need and what they want.
We have so much. Sometimes kids have a hard time deciphering between want and need. Many times adults have the same struggle. We buy things we think we need, but we really just want. It is amazing when we start to clean out drawers, closets, and shelves how much we have.
I know several families who have so many things that they can’t even park in their garage. Why do we think we need to keep buying when we don’t even have the room to store what we already have? Do you have so much stuff that you have to park outside of your garage? Is your garage just a place to store all those things you just couldn’t live without?
Don’t get me wrong, I love to indulge and I love to pamper myself and my family…but when we grow up believing, and therefore teaching our kids, that we should have anything and everything…we then acquire a sense of entitlement…that is when our wants appear to be needs. Do you want or need?
When my 21 year old daughter was in her teens she was displaying a sense of entitlement. I shipped her off to China with my mom for a 9 day vacation, aka “reality check”. She had to eat food that was not to her liking, she saw poverty beyond anything she had witnessed, and she saw people bathing in the same water that they were using to eliminate themselves. She really got a dose of reality. She came home truly appreciating living in Scottsdale, Arizona. She had a new-found appreciation for the difference between wants and needs.
My second daughter is now 15 and my mom and I are planning her “vacation” for next year…maybe they will head to Mozambique or some other poverty-stricken country. I think we all need to take a step back and appreciate what we have and really think about what we want versus what we need. Maybe we need to give more, instead of collecting things. Maybe we need to volunteer more and help others who are living right in our own backyard; those who can’t buy want they need, let alone what they want.
Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s really consider what it is we need. Do we really need that such-and-such; or could we use that money to help someone who is in fact struggling? Let’s teach our children the difference. Let’s purge our closets, shelves, and clean up those garages…some people would die to have all those things we are storing. Plus…then you can park in your garage!
Because Together is Better,