Making the best with Little
I visited my daughter this weekend. She is out of college and is an assistant director with an organization that works on campuses to support and encourage students.
My daughter works with another assistant director, two directors, and some volunteer staff.
What always strikes me about my daughter and the other people that she works alongside is how content they are with simple surroundings.
Currently, my daughter lives in a two-room house with one bathroom. She shares a house with four other young women. Two of them share one small room and three of them share the second room.
Soon my daughter will be moving to a different house and I was able to see that house. That house is small also. It has two rooms and one bathroom, but there will only be three women living there.
Old Homes and Character
What characterizes these living places is a general rundown state. They are old and ugly. The plumbing is not great. It seems like the drains never function well. And the girls don’t know how to unstop a chronically slow drain, so they just put up with the inconvenience of it.
My daughter said to me that she is looking forward to moving to the new place and only having three people in the house.
She didn’t say anything about the age of the house, the poorly functioning sink drain, and the overall rundown condition.
This has characterized her for the last several years. I am happy to see her being content in places that are basic and simple.
And it makes me wonder where she is going to go with the rest of her life.
She associates with people who are very much aware of social justice, immigrant advocacy, sustainability, responsible manufacturing and stuff like that.
She is careful about what she buys. She researches companies to find ones that pay their workers fairly and provide good working conditions. She shuns products from manufacturers who do not follow fair trade practices or responsibility to the environment.
This usually means the products and food she buys are more expensive than the garden variety ones on the common market. So since she doesn’t make very much money, she doesn’t have much.
More with Less
The circle of people she moves with are the same as she is. They all have similar convictions and practices. Heck maybe they all read these 7 steps.
I can only guess that her sensitivities developed during her college years. During the years when she lived at home and was growing up, she saw us recycle and eat as healthily as possible.
But she did not see us model the habit of purchasing goods from manufacturers who abide by fair trade practices and sustainability protocols.
That bent evolved for her after she left home, as did her food choices that now lean heavily toward vegetarian. She doesn’t eat meat or fish unless it’s responsibly raised. And this conviction combined with her budget means that she is generally limited to meatless meals.
She really has developed as an individual in this regard–in her food choices and overall clothing choices.
It ties in also with her desire or tolerance to live very simply and to not ever complain about substandard living conditions.
I looked this weekend at the place where she lives now, and the place where she’s moving to. The free tile removal could really transform those places. I would love for them to go in there with their industrial grade tile-removal equipment and their vacuum and get all of that old crummy tile out of there.
Well if the owners of those houses are ever ready to get their tile remove and put down new flooring, I would know who to send over to do that job.