Isn’t it amazing how stuff accumulates?
Admittedly, I did far too much shopping these past 6 months. Part of the problem certainly lies in the fact that I had some need for spring and summer clothing, but the real issue was probably more related to some sort of validation or gratification I found in new clothes than anything else. I love removing the price tag and size sticker and wearing a new article of clothing for the first time.
Over the past 8 months at my job, I’ve had a real glimpse into the excess that I live in and the absolute poverty some of my neighbours and community members live in. It’s a drastic difference. Last week alone, I removed more than a laundry basket of clothes that I don’t wear or don’t quite fit into from my closet. More than a laundry basket. Some clothes still had tags on them. Some were never worn. Some were well-worn. It’s shameful, really, to have so much. I don’t need half of what remains hanging in my closet, but I appreciate having it and I am committing to not adding to it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
I love fashion, but I love my job.
It is an honour and a privilege to work with and serve many of the people I do – and I’m not even a front-line worker. I sit in a cushy, air conditioned administrative office in my business wear and high heeled shoes five days a week. Sometimes I complain about being too cold so I have an extra sweater hanging on the back of my chair. But I’ve torn it all down and gone to the food kitchens. I’ve gone to the homeless shelter. I’ve handed out breakfast to hungry kids, and sat with an open ear for those who had no one to talk to and I’m better for it.
This week, I’ve seen people with next to nothing offer their friends and neighbours what little they had in the aftermath of a fire… meanwhile, I struggle to let go of jeans that don’t fit and shirts that I’m “too old” to wear. All because I’m attached to stuff.
I challenge you, my friends, to look through your closets and remove what you no longer need. Get rid of those too-small jeans or the clothes you held onto from high school. Take them to The Salvation Army, Value Village, a community centre. Those leftover school supplies the kids had before they went off to university? Drop them off at a local youth group meeting. Pick up a few cans of soup or pasta sauce and drop them in the food bank box at Sobeys. Schedule one evening out of your month to volunteer somewhere.
No matter how much or how little we have, we can all help.