June 18, 2008
How many “things” do you own?
David Bruno is working toward a round 100 with his 100 Thing Challenge. The self-imposed contest began in July 2007, when Bruno decided to “challenge stuff.” He promised himself that, by November 12, 2008, he’d pare down to 100 personal possessions. And, as if that weren’t enough, he swears to live with only those 100 things for one year.
Why? Quoth Bruno:
Because I want to challenge stuff! I believe that run-away consumerism is making many of us narcissistic jackasses. It dulls our wits. [Full post here.]
Certainly, I like the sentiment behind “challenging stuff.” At the risk of sounding like a narcissistic jackass myself, I contend that I’m challenging said stuff with the Year of No New Threads. Nevertheless, I have to give Brunsie the wealth of the cred: whereas I’m still consuming (the items are secondhand, yeah, but I’m still paying the piper for ’em), he is likely avoiding consumption altogether, and he’s divesting himself of a truckload of junk.
Of course, Bruno has set forth exceptions to the 100-thing limit: Memorabilia, for one. His Marklin train collection, for another. His extensive book library, for yet another. And all the stuff that belongs to his wife and his kids, and anything that is “family owned” — dining room table, dinner plates, etc.
Oh, and woodworking tools. And socks ‘n’ undies, too.
But everything else: down to 100.
Cynical as I may sound, I extend my kudos to Bruno for taking this challenge. It’s a toughie, I’m sure. And, given his recent press at Time.com, the pressure must be on.
So. Think you could live with 100 things? (Not counting most of your things, of course?) I’d have trouble, I know. But if I can count my jewels as one thing, and exempt my wardrobe, then maybe. Yeah. Maybe. But do cats count as things? What about the salt grinder? My hairclaws?
*Whoop-whoop to Amy at GreenPlan(t), via whom I discovered Dave Bruno’s challenge. Good luck with your own 100 Things pare-down, Amy.