Sunday, February 19, 2012

Refuse and Worth : A discussion

Google "refuse"
and this is what you get:


Indicate or show that one is not willing to do something.
Matter thrown away or rejected as worthless; trash.
verb.  decline - deny - reject - repudiate - disallow - repulse
noun.  trash - garbage - rubbish - waste - litter - offal

Is it not interesting? We need to refuse refuse!!  That is we need to Just Say No to worthless items!

If we don't accept things that we don't need, that add no 'worth' and are hence 'worthless', to our lives and our homes we simplify our lives.  We save our money and keep our houses cleaner.

I think that the only confusing part of this concept is the term 'worthless.'

How are we going to define worthless.  Here in lies the trap!  Watch a hoarding show like this one on You tube, A Hoarding Documentary
Just watch the first bit of documentary and you will quickly understand on the far end of the spectrum how everything can seemingly have worth to certain people.  The on of the first items discussed by one hoarder is a pair of  "perfectly good trousers.  the only problem is this one tear..."  He and his wife disagree, she would throw them away, as they are useless.  He argues they have worth, just sew up the tear and they could be worn again many times.

I agree they could have been worn!  If they had been patched and worn that would have been wonderful!  keep them out of landfill, reduce resources used to produce and transport new pants, and saves some money!  But once they have been replaced, and then squirreled off some place to take up space, they no longer have that value.  They are worthless, and worse more resources are being used to house that item!

I know, we hate land-filling....but....perhaps we could all buy cotton and wool and compost worn out clothes.  Recall that even 100 years ago natural fiber were made into clothes, and when too worn for wearing quilts would be made from the remnants!  Check out the quilt my son recently made from his outgrown shirts that could not be passed on,  and some salvaged material from the 70's.  We opted for a meaningful keepsake, with many uses instead of investing many hours into another disposable project for his latest book report.

Now you can see by the documentary gentleman's house that he has applied his 'worth' theory to many, many, many items, and they have filled his home.  So perhaps if we can teach ourselves more definitive theory of 'worth,'
we could find balance in order to simplify our lives.  For me something has worth only if I am going to use it, if it is currently serving a purpose in my life.  The most obvious use is utilitarian--something i use frequently in some way.  Other purposes could be happiness, but here again the waters get murky.  Many will claim the stuff makes them 'happy'  of course that is another long post! For me, if seeing an item makes me happy, and that is it, I don't actually use it, then I take a picture and gleefully let go!  I know that picture is there for me should i wish to enjoy it, and now get to have my space too!

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