"You spend the first half of your life accumulating things, and the last half giving them away."

Sometimes I stand in front of my not so big closet stuffed with clothes, some of which I haven't worn in awhile. I sort of have a rule, if I haven't warn it in a year, it goes to good will or to one of the local places that gives clothes out where they are needed.

This is a good thing on several levels.

If I'm not using something, someone else should be able to use or enjoy it. Where it is something I have two many of, or just can't use anymore, it should move on with my blessing. (Duncan, who is more of a minimalist than I am, would certainly give it a parting blessing as it goes out the door.)

I tend to be a bit of a pack rat. (Books mainly)

Why is it that we are so sure, should we give the extra away, what ever it is, we will need it the next day? I hear this all the time. Stories of such things. But it has never been my experience.

Instead, I think of that extra coat I let go of last winter, warming someone this winter. Those pans or dishes, going to a table of a family who have lost everything in a fire. Those, puzzles, or books entertaining someone, who has no T.V. and can't afford to go to the movies.

They are simple things, really. Not of great value.

But when you don't have a coat and the weather is 35 degrees out, a coat is a life saver if you have to walk to work. And when you've lost everything to a fire, a simple place setting can seem like a bit of normal life in a sea of loss and change. And who doesn't enjoy something to do on a winters evening, besides worry about the conditions of the world.

For most of us, I think, as we get older, we see how short life really is and that possessing things is not what brings the greatest joy to life. We may even begin to see things that accumulate as a burden. And when we share these things more and have less we are happier.

Someone ask a minister what heaven and hell are like?

"In hell, there are these long table, full of food. It looks delicious, and smells wonderful. The tables are covered with enough for everyone. But looking around, there are all these people who are upset, angry, hateful, and staving to death, as their only means of eating are three foot long chop sticks."

The people all agreed that would be hell alright. So what is heaven like they ask.

"In heaven, there are these long tables, full of food. It looks delicious, and smells wonderful. The tables are covered with enough for everyone. They also have three foot long chop sticks to eat with. But everyone is happy and laughing, talking and enjoying the sumptuous feast."

Well, what's the difference, ask the people?

"In heaven, they feed each other."


  1. Pulls all the right strings. Thanks.

  2. You post such beautiful thoughts. I always look forward to them.

  3. I like that indeed. I was a major packrat up until I started moving about the country every year or so - then I realized that things are very expendable and cumbersome :)

  4. I like this post. It has such a good feel to it. I love it when that happens! Great post