Thursday, April 21, 2011

100 Things

I finished reading The 100 Thing Challenge recently. (I am blazing through my "want to read" list!) This book was touted as the story of a man who lived for a year with only 100 things and how he reconnected with himself and his faith in the process. Uhmmm. Not exactly.

First, it was 100 personal things. And that was just the first "qualifier" for his list. He had lots of exceptions for his 100 things and reasons for why this thing or that thing didn't count. He counted his books as 1 thing: a library. All of his socks and undergarments together counted as 1 thing. His bed didn't count because he shared that with his wife. Etc. etc. etc.

Second, he claimed he was a christian and that one of his reasons for doing this was to reconnect with his spirituality. He used occasional foul language and gave some rather inappropriate anecdotes in the book. I disliked having to wade through muck to try and find the nugget of truth. He never really discussed whether or not he found his spirituality through this exercise. He did find that he could live without purchasing things and taught himself to carefully consider all the costs to spending money on something. Not really spiritual.

He basically writes about why he developed the idea, the rules he created for it, all the exceptions to the rules he created, how he decided what was important to keep, and all the publicity he received. He states over and over that this was "his personal challenge", and he uses this to justify his actions whenever someone challenges one of his rules or exceptions. He does explain some about "consumerism", the pitfalls of buying what we don't really need, and how people use shopping as a type of therapy, which is only a temporary fix.

This book was okay. It didn't really inspire me. It did cause me to realize that we already live pretty simply in our home. We just don't have the finances to go "mall-crawling" and use shopping as therapy. We are already pretty good at "making do with what we have". If you are looking to be inspired to reduce what you have, to clear out the clutter, and to free up space and time in your life, then I suggest reading Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. Definitely a more inspiring and helpful book.

I'll be donating "The 100 Thing Challenge" to the local library book sale.
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