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  • Writer's pictureTina

I Crave Simplicity

I find that in the past few months, I have t developed this overpowering ambition to simplify my world. I crave a place for everything and everything in its place approach. Clutter is driving me crazy. Knick knacks and décor need to be cut back. An attic full of holiday decorations, needs to be pared down. A closet vomiting clothes that are worn on occasion, weighs on my psyche. A personal Toys R Us size Barbie collection, seems like just too much. I crave simplicity.

The clutter, and the vomiting closet, the filled to the gills attic, and the Barbie collection have been grating on me for a while. However, I have a new friend who grew up in the mountains of China. Poor does not begin to describe her life growing up. I only know a fraction of her story, but what I know makes me feel like a gluttonous, spoiled brat. She looks at our home and says, “Too much!” She is absolutely correct; we do have too much. Too much of what is unnecessary, useless, frivolous and wasteful. It is humbling and embarrassing to have someone arrive at your home with a suitcase…one suitcase, which carries their entire life. One suitcase that has carried them through the past five years in a foreign land, where language is a barrier, with the purpose of creating a better life than what they had. It makes me feel ashamed.

I cleaned out my pantry, and removed everything that had expired. It mostly consisted of canned goods like beets, fruit cocktail, and pears. By the time I was finished, I had a box filled with three layers of cans. It was a bit much and I was surprised at how much my pantry can hold. Eric, Jordan and my friend opened the cans, poured the contents into buckets and fed them to the pigs. The pigs were thrilled, it was like a buffet. However, my friend sat shaking her head and saying,” Too much waste. Too much wasted food, too much wasted money.” Eric said she looked almost sick the entire time they were working on it. That is an eye opener for Eric and I but it is especially impactful for my bean. Eric and I know, we have no idea how others live not only around the world but in our own country. I was twenty-three the first time I saw and understood that a child was genuinely hungry and had no idea where their next meal would come from. I was doing part of my student teaching in inner city Philadelphia and for me, it was like being in a foreign land. That child, that child’s story, and the humiliation and appreciation that child showed to her teacher who provided her with instant meals and snacks for the weekend has carried with me. My bean is still young and impressionable, I hope Ci-Ci’s experience has an impact upon her.

I hope the bravery that Ci-Ci has shown does not escape Jordan. I hope when she is older and she has to define bravery and heroism, she remembers how our friend came to a foreign land without being able to speak the language, with not a friend in the land, with her life in a suitcase and created a new life for herself. A life that is better than what she had. I hope Ci-Ci’s story is more inspiring for my bean than any Kardashian, sports figure, or social media icon.

I hope our friend’s story helps to mold my bean into a person who is able to look at others and feel empathy, inspiration, and strength. I also hope it inspires her to be altruistic and authentic.

As always dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, take inspiration from those around you, create a life of simplicity, and of course, wash your hands.

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