Entitlement – The American Dream

I’ve been thinking a lot about entitlement lately.  Mainly in reaction to my own frustrations at living in less than 200 sf (with my husband and dog).  We’ve been living full time in our tiny house for 4 months now, and I have definitely been feeling the pains of adjusting to a different way of life.

  • I have to wash my face in the kitchen sink, which requires that I put away all the dishes first!
  • I have to sit down on the little stairs to access the closet to find something to wear
  • I have to move the table and lift the couch cushions to get my helmet out to go for a bike ride
  • I have to burn my poo for crying out loud!
  • I don’t have room to work on art or make things
  • I have to stow my computer away in a cubby every night and bring it out again every morning

The list goes on and on…  I can whine and blame with the best of them.  :)

Frustrated…

Our home is the smallest space I have ever lived in – smaller than my freshman dorm room in college, smaller than my Los Angeles studio apartment, which I had all to myself.  While I love our home, the white walls and plywood details, the high ceilings, the ample daylight and spacious views to the outdoors – I miss the luxuries of a bigger home.  I miss having a dining room table, an extra room with a huge desk for artistic creations, a huge bathroom vanity with a mirror where I could spread out all my…necessities. Ha!

But do I deserve to have an extra room, used twice a month?  Do I deserve a dining room, in addition to a kitchen, living room, and laundry room?  And I have always lived rather modestly – are we entitled to our mud rooms and our sitting rooms, our parlors, and art studios, our shops, our garages, our indoor personal gymnasiums, saunas, swimming pools, butler’s pantries and guest cottages?  Our flushing toilets, running water, constant electricity, uninterrupted internet, cell phone access, food chilled to a perfect 38 degrees fahrenheit.

Entitled…

My frustration at living without the space and conveniences I am used to has made me realize that I do feel entitled.  Goddammit, I’m 33 and I should have this, this and this to prove to me and to you that I’m successful!

Where did I get this entitlement?  Was it my white middle-class upbringing?  My Gen-X cynicism?  Was it being raised in America?  Yup.  Listening to Mitt Romney’s address at the Republican National Convention, I realized that entitlement is indeed at the root of the American Dream.

In a blatantly imperialist speech Romney explained (and I paraphrase) “We are a nation of immigrants… we deserve to be able to work… we deserve growth and prosperity and a better life.”  The American story of immigrants coming from crowded, oppressed European homelands to the spacious freedom of the American West is so common.  It is so inspirational – bedraggled foreigners coming to an empty land, free to move and build and grow, grow, grow.

The part of the story that is left out is the fact that America was not empty when we arrived, and our country is as much based on genocide as it is on freedom.  Ironically, we fled the serfdom and indebted slavery of European earls and “nobles” to land-grab and enact those same atrocities on other people – people “beneath us”, people who were “savage” and behind the throttle of the industrial revolution.  People who lived sustainably and within the means of the land.  Maybe only because they hadn’t had as much time as europeans to become “civilized”?

Unemployed…

The election speeches spend a lot of time promising to end unemployment, promising to get Americans back to work, promising the younger generations the same opportunities that Americans had in the 50’s through the 90’s.  These promises are all based on exponential growth.  How long can something naturally keep growing bigger?  Imagine if people kept growing at the same rate we did when we were children… I would be at least 20 feet tall by now, weighing 500 pounds… 1,000 pounds? Maybe even bigger.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the party’s over.

I can think of a few things that grow without limit – cancerous tumors and parasites.  The rest of living things grow cyclically, organically, sustainably.  Regenerating.  Cells die – other cells are born.  If it weren’t for the death of our skin cells, we would be covered with skin several feet thick; the growth would be detrimental, to say the very least.

Maybe we’re all grown up now.  America.  The world.  Maybe we’ve already eaten too much and now is the time to start leaning up, start conserving, start trimming back, start using amounts that the earth can sustain.

Overbuilt…

I would love to have meaningful and gainful employment.  But as an architectural professional, I can plainly see that the growth of the past few decades – and indeed the past few centuries – was unsustainable at best.  It was also false.  Homes were built and sold to people without money in their accounts – who were loaned funds that did not exist – funds that were merely speculation. (The same speculation that occurs at horse races and cock fights…) (c)

I voluntarily left my job in the city designing marble and mahogany encrusted offices for hedge-fund executives.  I left because while I had money to spend on lattes and gym memberships and brie cheese, my vocation felt meaningless.  And I have definitely been under employed the past 2-1/2 years.  But I do not see the solution to unemployment as an easy return to the “opportunities” of our parents and grandparents.  Those days are gone.  And really I am not angered by this – I don’t want humans to keep growing and “developing” at a rate that cannot be sustained.  I don’t want to behave like a cancerous tumor.

Bastante – Enough…

The way I see it, the current depression and epidemic of unemployment is not anyone’s fault, it’s simply that we have been trying to grow exponentially.  We have been growing for growth’s sake.  We have been basing our livelihood on making and selling more and more stuff.  But maybe we’ve actually come to our senses and realized that we have enough.  (We’ve certainly been eating enough, we have an “obesity epidemic” for crying out loud!)  Maybe we have enough motorcycles and mascara and muffin tins and maps and mac books.  Although, let’s be honest.  If we had our jobs back and were making money hand over fist, maybe we would still be good little American Consumers, keeping our capitalist economy thriving by shop-shop-shopping.

Either there’s too many of us (7 billion!) (a), we’re too cheap and are bargain-shopping our own jobs away (b), or capitalism, and especially the stock market, was all just a huge scam anyway (c).

Politics…

Romney waxed on about American’s lost hopes and missed dreams after Obama’s 2008 election, pretending to relate to the masses in their financial woes, talking about how they wanted to open a new store, hire new employees, sponsor a little league team, graduate from college and get a good job…  “This was the hope and change America voted for.  It’s not just what we wanted, it’s not just what we expected, it’s what Americans deserved.”  (applause.)  “I’m an American, I make my destiny, we deserve better, my children deserve better, my family deserves better, my country deserves better.”  (more applause.)

Oh gag.  Do you realize how many people don’t have food to eat?  (1 billion, or 1 in 7)  Clean water to drink?  (800 million)  And you’re worried about not being able to sponsor a little league team?  Sometimes it’s so embarrassing to be an ugly American.

Growth…

I personally do not feel that I deserve to grow like a cancerous tumor cell.  I do not feel that I deserve to steal land and enslave other people – taking away their “freedom to practice their religions, speak their minds, build their lives” (Romney’s words about pioneers from his RNC speech).  I do not feel that I deserve to sell and re-sell pieces of paper that have no value, profiting off of speculation and the ignorance of the masses.

What do we deserve?  Maybe nothing.  Dust to dust.

I do know that I am a spoiled, rich American who is trying to not be like a rat, and who is trying to live within my means.  I do know that it’s not all about money.  I do know that I am grateful for this beautiful sky, this warm sun.  And this tiny house… that we own and can move wherever we need to.  That only costs us $350 a month to live in.

What do you think?

How are you dealing with the current economic depression?

How have you gotten out of the rat race?

Sources:

(a) National Geographic: Population 7 Billion

(b) “Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture” by Ellen Rupert Shell

(c) “The Great American Bubble Machine” by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, April 2010

Any book by Edward Abbey

“Walden” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Faith, Madness, and Spontaneous Human Combustion” by Gerald N. Callahan, Ph.D.

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40 thoughts on “Entitlement – The American Dream

  1. Marsha Cowan

    Wow! A lot of angst, but well said. I hate that the American Dream has become an atrocity because in its beginning it had merit. It took a hundred years for most Americans to begin to realize the dream of owning a home in which to house their sometimes large families and from which to pursue a living with which to feed their families. Wanting to settle down with your family in a job that you enjoy and that takes care of your needs is not a bad thing per se. It is when the need becomes ownership for the sake of proving one’s worth that the American Dream takes its ugly turn.

    At that point, it is no longer a matter of taking care of one’s self and family. It is a matter of greed and over indulgence, and unfortunately, this mindset and lifestyle is passed onto our children who feel that they are not successful in the eyes of their parents (indeed, many parents voice as much) if they don’t achieve at least as much materialism if not more when they grow up.

    There was a time in our history when neighbors looked after the needs of other neighbors, but this past 50 years, responsibility for others has passed onto the government’s shoulders because the American citizen is spending so much on himself that he has none to give others, and ironically, because the government now has to take on that burden, the tax payer pays even more taxes than he would have had to pay out of pocket if the need was being handled by neighbors.

    We have bitten our own foot, so to speak, in the matter of materialism. Ownership is not what it has been cracked up to be, and I for one cannot wait to be out of this large (960 sq. ft.) house and into my tiny house (almost finished!) so I will have time to do more than just clean and repair yet another appliance or fixture.

    Keep your cool. In every new circumstance you have to get “over the hump” before you at ease with it, whether it is a new job, a new partner, or a new home. You will figure out where to keep your helmet so that life is easier, or the motion of getting it out will seem easier with each time you do it until it becomes as natural as breathing.

    Thanks for the shake up.

    Marsha Cowan

  2. hazelsgranddaughtercancook

    I have been laid off for 17 months. I have to live with my son ,as I cant afford my own place. I want to be independent again. I want my own place. I want a place to call my home. I want a place that I can afford and can’t be taken from me. I understand how to live with less.at this point in my life,its not things that I want or need. It’s family. My goal is to oneday have a tiny house.

  3. Great post Carrie! I hope that this is something that people are starting to realize. I had to share this article that popped up the same day as your post: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/08/work-good-or-bad/?smid=FB-nytimes&WT.mc_id=OP-E-FB-SM-LIN-WWI-091012-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev=click
    I think it would do a lot of good for people to find out what they really want, away from all the social influences in life. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Anyway, I miss having you around for these talks!

    Live simply so that others may simply live
    -Mother Theresa

    • Hi Bonnie!
      So good to hear from you – I miss having you around for these talks too!

      I really liked that article from the NY Times – these lines stuck out to me:

      “But capitalism as such is not interested in quality of life. It is essentially a system for producing things to sell at a profit, the greater the better.”

      “Capitalism, with its devotion to profit, is not in itself evil. But it becomes evil when it controls our choices for the sake of profit.”

      The presidential candidates also talked a lot about GDP… but I like the systems that rate countries including quality of life, where France ranks number one, I believe…

      This is a really good article about Living on Purpose – not just to make money: http://www.fastcompany.com/33161/are-you-deciding-purpose-extended-interview

  4. John

    Bravo Carrie,
    Your new changes have made you think of real issues.
    We all need to take a look at what and how our life styles are effecting each others and the planet.
    Solutions need to start at home.
    Bravo!

  5. Thanks Carrie. So much of what you say resonates with me. I, too, am angry, though I guess I’m not so much angry at the people who keep mouthing the lie over and over as I am angry at the lie itself. It’s time for us to wake up and realize that we are killing our own souls with this never-ceasing drive to own more/better stuff. I am guilty. We all are. But it’s good to know that some of us are waking up and trying to see things differently. You’re an inspiration. Blessings… -Sarah

    • Jen Crans

      Bravo Carrie! What a terrific post. I like reading all your posts, but I enjoyed this one in particular. You and Shane are true inspirations on so many levels. Many people talk and don’t act, but you have, and it’s remarkable. I hope your journey encourages others to live (now or eventually) a more simple, sustainable life; myself included.

  6. Thank you for sharing this Carrie- I loved reading it! You are so wise and I resonate with what you say! Love you! Kat

  7. Victoria

    I was a Pharmacy Technician in a highly stressful environment…..but then, the chemicals, the stress of the job, losing a relationship overwhelmed me….I got really sick…lost my job, lost my house, fought for a year and a half for the disability I paid into through my work, its been a really hard couple of years, living on food stamps, charities paying my utilities, friends donating money so I could buy medicine and dog food. I’m a prime example for universal healthcare, I need to see doctors but have no money.

    Now I live in half of a finished shed, I pay $250/mo, utilities & trash, I was so excited just to have hot water for a shower…I was feeling pretty ok these last couple of days, I’ve been here about a week now, until the hot water heater poured its contents all over…seeped under the walls to the other side of the shed…now I worry about mold.

    I’ve developed MCS amongst many other things…..I bought a tiny fridge for my space…It’s off gassing outside in the yard. I’ve talked to my ex son in-law about building me a tiny home…no vocs, no glues, no propane, solar with composting toilet….he is game but I need it sooner than later and he is only one person and I cant afford much but he says he can do it.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is….I was already trying to get out of the rat race, I was already trying to lighten my load when I lost pretty much everything and gained ill health, now….my priority is to build a tiny healthy loftless home and try to regain some of my health….and then….figure out what it is the Universe really wants me to be doing.

    • hi Victoria,
      I am so sorry to hear about all of your trials. I read somewhere recently that when we’re down we don’t need pity – we need encouragement – literally the instillation of courage. So I wish you so much courage in your journey! It doesn’t sound easy, but I trust that you will learn and grow so much and have so much empathy for others because of the challenges you are overcoming.

      also, for the water damage – you might want to rent a dehumidifier and run that for a few days… Shane and I did flood insurance adjusting last year and that is what they do for flooded houses – strip off the sheetrock and insulation that got wet, run fans or duhumidifiers to dry the framing and wall cavity, then put in new sheetrock and insulation. kind of a pain, but mold is not good. at least it was clean water!

      best wishes to you!
      – Carrie

  8. John Brazier

    Provocative.

  9. Great post!

  10. Pingback: Clothesline Tiny Homes – Repost « minimotives

  11. Joe Keller

    While you may feel “entitled”, I would submit that no one is entitled at the expense of another person. Sustainability is great and lowering your own cost of living while increasing the quality of life is important, but the entitlement that the Consevatives are fighting so hard against is the basic premis of “Wealth Re-Distrubution” The taking from one who works hard for what they earned to give to another whho does not work. While this system is ideal for those who cannot work because of disability, it is abused by too many that simply do not want to work rather than cannot work. The economic problems that we have in our country are not due to Capitalism or Consumerism, its due to the fact that people feel that they are entitled to live outside of their means. In addition to the fact that the current administration has not only not passed a budget in three years but has not even proposed one in that same time, all while spending like crazy to increase the size of government. Gereld Ford once said “A Government large enough to give you everything you need, is large enough to take everything you have.”

    The American Dream was once – I can work hard and build a better life for my family and all my future geenerations, now that dream has been perverted into – I can have everything I want because I have goood credit, and a job… The Banks, and Corporations, and Wall Street are not the problem, We the Peoople are the Problem.

    We must take it upon ourselves to eliminate our own excesses, We must work for those things that we need, and not take from others that which we do not need. The system is broken, and we need to stand up to both sides of the political aisle and say enough is enough, balance the budget, fix the welfare system, fix public education, and end government regulation. Our politicians will not vote the way that we want them to unless we are heard from. Your local representatives, congressmen (and women), etc.. all have telephones and e-mail these days if you feel there is something that they are doing wrong, let them know. Only the squeaky hinge gets the grease. If you want to effect change you mustt be heard.

    • Great reply Joe! I couldn’t agree more!

    • great comment Joe. I do believe that we individuals are the only ones who can make the changes we want to see in the world.

      have you seen the movie “Margin Call”? about the 2008 mortgage crisis. fascinating movie. one of the day traders said that he does not pity the unsuspecting masses because they want the lifestyle that stock market traders provide….

      Being debt free and owning a home seemed impossible to Shane and I… until we stumbled across the idea of a Tiny House. Now we own our home, and we’re living within our means. It’s quite amazing. And quite relieving to have extremely low living costs during these times of insecure employment.

      Best to you…

      – Carrie

    • Hi Joe,

      I definitely agree that it is important to live within our means.

      I am curious to know what you are basing this comment on: While this system is ideal for those who cannot work because of disability, it is abused by too many that simply do not want to work rather than cannot work.

      I challenge that idea. Living in CA, I see a lot of people working VERY hard who simply don’t get paid very much. These people work the same long hours (often manual labor) and receive a tine percentage/per hour to someone in a “corporate job”. I think it is a mistake to say that one person works harder than the other.

      Thoughts?

  12. I want to rant to!!!

    I grew up in a dirt poor family, everything I have now I’ve had to work hard for. I never expected anyone to give me anything. I started working when I was 13. I got into college with some help, I got through two years before I had to drop out in order to work enough to sustain myself. I lost my job and got into a tight spot. I then joined the military.

    The military was a great thing, I worked, I got paid. I got into a relationship, then decided to get out, get married and move up in life.

    About the time I was to separate from the military my long term relationship blew up on me, so when I got off active duty I looked for work, it just was not available. I got on unemployment and continued to look for work while carrying my wounds from the loss of my love. I spun out of control, my health got bad and I nearly lost my will to go on. It took a few years to fix my own problems. No one helped me, I did it on my own.

    A few years later I’m healed, the work still isn’t there, I ran out of unemployment a long time ago. I sold my house which I owned outright and mortgage free, that money is almost gone. I’ve decided to use my “earned benefits” and return to college on the GI Bill.

    I’m just wanting to make what I need to live simply, have my own little happy existence and enjoy my freedom.

    *** Sardonicism ***

    I’m sure for the benefit of the world most of us should just take a walk into the Soylent Green factory, I’m like most everyone else I’m not willing to do that. Maybe we should hold a euthanasia lottery. Perhaps base the mass culling on intelligence, strength and beauty; let the weak, stupid and ugly sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the whole world. I feel pretty safe from that; I thank the maker for my brain and my health, I’m also told I’m good looking.

    If one truly feels bad about the way the world is, stop making children, eat the ones you have and go feed yourself to an endangered predator.

    • I like your added twist on Jonathan Swift’s idea: “feed yourself to an endangered predator.” It’s an estimable trait that you can maintain a sense of humor in the midst of all that you’ve gone through. I hope your future is brighter than your past and that you will find hope in the midst of your trials.

    • thanks for the reply Jason. the last sentence is especially chilling. because that’s the problem with overpopulation…. controls on population growth haven’t seemed to work well in the past (exhibit a: China’s one child policy). and obviously there are huge moral dilemmas with curbing population, which none of us are qualified to sift through.

      thanks to a rash of infertility in developed nations, and more education for women in developing nations, it seems the birth rate is slowing.

      I think living within our means, and the means of the land on which we live is a more proactive approach to sustainable growth.
      – Carrie

  13. Dave M

    I agree with you, Carrie. Except the part about the motorcycles. Never enough of those. ( I kid! :-)

  14. Donna Haukaas

    Carrie, talk to your mother in law about a frugal, yet fulfilling, inspiring life. For that matter, talk to almost any Native. It is good you are examining a simple life. I can’t wait for my tiny home… altho, I never did get a reply from my nephew about the last one I sent him. Take care… Donna

    • hi Auntie Donna!
      yes, you’re right. the irony of living simply is that it isn’t deprivation at all – it’s actually more fulfilling. this earth and the beautiful people that we’re surrounded by are infinitely more satisfying than any “thing” we buy.
      – Carrie

  15. I don’t get it… it sounds like you’re upset at Mitt Romney for being financially successful. It actually sounds like you don’t like the idea of financial success in general. You’re going on about this ‘economic depression’, but you just said that you voluntarily left your job. That sounds like voluntary unemployment to me – not a result of a government action.

    • thanks for the comment Casey! good points.

      I am not the judge of anyone, but Mitt Romney’s financial success does seem to have come at the expense of many other people, which I do not respect. It is the nature of our economy now though. We used to make money by making and selling things (Ford, Romney’s father, etc.). Romney, and other private equity / capital investment firms made loads of money from speculation, leveraged buyouts, forcing debt onto others, etc. etc. all in the name of extreme profit for a few and wholesale insecurity for the working class. I respect Henry Ford – he made a good product, he paid his employees well because he understood that they were his market, he bought locally, again because he knew local hemp growers were his market. I don’t respect financial success that focuses entirely on obese profits that come at the expense of other people.

      You’re right, I voluntarily chose to leave a corporate job in the city in search of a more meaningful life. The small town job offer did not pan out and I found myself in the company of millions of other Americans – under and/or unemployed. I am actually thankful for the lack of employment because it forced me and my husband to search for a more sustainable lifestyle. And it’s awesome to have more time to do things other than work!

      My point about unemployment was that the presidential candidates keep talking about growth, growth, growth, but I think we’re all grown up. The party’s over.

      Now we need to grow … wiser? Focusing on things that really satisfy. Which I would argue, is not money.

      best of luck to you in your tiny house build! I like the A/V equipment you’re planning. great idea.
      – Carrie

  16. Laura M

    Very interesting and lively conversation. I’m encouraged by the fact that people are pondering these ideas and open to conversation. We do need to start thinking about this as a country.

    I wanted to say that for me, in my life, I find myself more prone to buying and shopping when I have a hole to fill for some reason. Loneliness, disappointment, frustration. So for me, I know that buying is so much more than just “Laura, try harder and quit buying shit”. It’s has roots in other places that I need to attend to if I want to fix the manifestation. In other words, it’s not surface, not easy, and I’m guessing it might be the same for others.

    Which makes it more complicated, I realize . . .

    • Laura,
      this is so true – very good point. our “stuff” is so much more than just a cultural phenomenon in the land of plenty – it’s an emotional compulsion too.

      I totally relate to your comment. I love buying nice things – you know like really cool, artistic, handmade, design-y, or just really well packaged things. this small house has seriously helped curb that! now whenever I see something really cool that I really want and maybe it’s on sale… I think about where I’m going to put it and how I want my house to be clean and spacious. and… I just walk away. realizing I have more than I need. it’s actually pretty easy not to buy stuff now.

      but yes, as you wrote, what to do about the voids… the “loneliness, disappointment, frustration.” for me, I have to ask myself what do I really need right now? why do I feel so … snarky, squirrelly? it’s often love – self-love. acceptance. me accepting me just as I am. not trying to be something or someone.

      great addition to the entitlement conversation – this filling a void aspect of consumerism.

  17. Pingback: Why Tiny? … Economics « Clothesline Tiny Homes

  18. So many comments that I agree with here. Excellent conversation. I have known many friends who were adamant that there were no jobs available at many times in my life but I’ve always taken the approach that the jobs are there somewhere, they just might not pay as much as I would like. Most of the time that is exactly what I’ve found to be true. My jobless friends, almost all of them, refused to even consider any job that didn’t pay MORE than their last job. I know this because I heard them tell me that directly. I know these last few years there have been fewer jobs available than at almost any other time I remember, but looking hard I have always found someone somewhere looking to hire somebody. Anyway, that’s my take on the job market. I am willing to work as a Walmart greeter if I have to just to have money coming in for my needs.

    I currently work with some who have told me they think the idea is foolish that we are using our natural resources faster than they can be replaced. He is only looking at the current rate of consumption (higher than ever) and not at the level of supply available and how fast that is shrinking (also faster than ever). He is also listening and believing the corporations that USE the resources and provide us the products to CONSUME. Sure there is still oil being drawn out of the ground. BUT, it costs more to get it due to the easy stuff being gone in areas that drilling/mining is permitted, oil companies have to go deeper and use more difficult technology to draw it out. It’s like the ink in a printer ink cartridge. The cartridge has a reservoir of ink and a sponge that evens the flow to the printhead. We have almost emptied the reservoir and are working at sucking it out of the sponge now (fracking/fracturing and steam/water displacement to force it out). This is happening more and more over the last many years.
    Our planets resources do replentish, but not as fast as humanity is using them. Just look deeply at what has to be done to provide drinkable water in most places in our own country. I live in farm country in central Iowa. LOTS of fertilizer is put on fields all around us. The chemical runoff pollutes all our rivers. All the bigger cities and many smaller towns get most, if not all of their water from the rivers. Water treatment plants are needed to make the water “clean enough” to drink. Part of that treatment is to disinfect the water from bacteria and bad microbes by injecting clorine, a poison. No wonder we get sick more than we used to. I long to get back to finding clean well water. I would use a solar powered pump or even a manual pump to get it out.

    I totally agree that consumerism for the sake of consuming for profit is a cancer or parasite. That is what both of those do… consume. Circle of life stuff is natural. Resources get used. We use them and so do all creatures. Resources do replentish at a natural rate that supports “normal” circle of life usage. Being a good steward of what we have will ensure there is more than enough for everyone always. I believe GOD has provided all we need if we are good stewards of it. People have become more and more uncaring of anyone but themselves. I think this is part of the feeling of entitlement to have and to use anything and everything they want as much as they want. A lot of this selfishness, I think, is the result of having too much stuff (big house(s), multiple fancy cars, and just lots of consumerism purchased stuff), and needing to work long hours in high stress jobs (sometimes more than one) to pay for it leaving no time to reflect on what they have or need, or what is really fulfilling to them. I’ve been thinking on this for many many years, and even more during this last year. It is a big part of what draws me to the small house movement and small/tiny houses.

    btw- I also agree there needs to be more motorcycles. I consider mine my primary transportation. I originally was looking for an electric vehicle or electric scooter 13 years ago but didn’t find any I felt were within my budget and then ended up with my motorcycle. I ride it to work anytime the road is clear enough. I even have a tiny pop-up camper for it that I use for mc camping trips and for hauling things that don’t fit on the bike (and even some things that don’t fit in the car!). Not as clean as an electric vehicle (duh) but better than almost any car considering actual fuel used for the miles traveled.

    I’ve rambled enough for now. :-)

  19. Your own post, “Entitlement – The American Dream Clothesline Tiny Homes” was indeed
    very well worth commenting down here in the comment section!
    Just simply wanted to admit you did a good job. I appreciate it -Chris

  20. Hi – in complete agreement with your article! My neighbor just got a big stinkin’ SUV and was saying “I work hard, I deserve it.” I bit my tongue, but what I wanted to say was, “You deserve love, you deserve safe food, clean water, clean air, healthy soil, you deserve health care, and privacy, and freedom.” And you know what? It’s kind of a choice. You can have your SUV, your new sofa, your 52 inch plasma tv, your remodeled kitchen, your GMO fed meat – or you can have what you really need and deserve.

  21. Elisa

    I realize that I am commenting quite some time from when your original post was made, however I only recently discovered the “Tiny House Movement” and have been doing mental yoga exercises with a focus on “Becoming The Sponge” and absorbing everything I possibly can. While in sponge mode, I have been attempting to express to my 13 year old son and other family members exactly WHY I am absorbing so much information about tiny homes and the principles behind the tiny life. I have struggled to find an eloquent way of expressing the principles, values and yes! the morals behind those who choose to live simply and small. I would like to thank you for being that eloquent voice for me. I have shared your blog with my family and friends as a way to help them understand the WHY behind this choice. I am determined to one day have my own tiny home and I hope to do so before my child is completely grown and feels completely entitled to living a big lifestyle instead of living a big life. God bless you on your journey through your big life via tiny footprints.

  22. I like the way this short video makes a cartoon out of this important subject: what if a hamster grows like the economy should?

    • that was a great video! So true. a great big giant rat is still a rat. – Edward Abbey.

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