Recently, I visited my parents in France. They still live in the house where I grew up, and have been there for about 35 years. Every time I go back, I spend a bit of time sorting through stuff, mine, theirs, or my brothers’. Unsurprisingly, they have accumulated rather a lot over the years.
This visit, I came across a lamp. It was originally purchased by my brother, who used it during his student years, and when he no longer needed it, he brought it to the “big storage”, or in other words my parents’ house. This was probably about 10 years ago. It is not a very special lamp, it was purchased on a student budget.
The thing is, I needed a lamp just like that for my desk! The desk that is in my home the UK. My immediate reaction was: “I am NOT carrying that lamp back, hand luggage, on a low-cost airline. It is simply not worth it.”
Worth it. That made me stop and think.
I had just started an online course on how clothes are made, and the lives of the people who were involved in the manufacturing processes that we take for granted. The cotton farm workers, the yarn making factory workers, the cargo boat captain, the sweat shop workers, etc… All these people who do these jobs that we don’t see, who have lives and dreams, for themselves and their families.
And I thought about the lives of the people involved in the making of my little cheap lamp. Surely they were worth something? A lot even. So I packaged it up, and brought it home. It sits perfectly on my desk, and I smile every time I look at it!
My lamp has a story. Every item has a story. When it’s a happy story, these items bring us joy. And when it’s a sad story, perhaps it is time to let them go. But it all starts with looking at all our stuff a bit more closely. And making some decisions.
Sometimes these decisions are not that easy. That’s what I help people with.
(For those eagle-eyed readers, yes, it has the wrong plug, but I have many adapters!)