Excuse me while I rant for a minute.
Once again, curiosity killed the cat. I read some of the comments under the Yahoo! Financially fit video. It’s strange to read so many comments about our home. It’s like being able to hear all the thoughts of people at Food Lion. The cyber-jabber is floating around me, 60,000 voices crowding my property. Most of them say “Yes! This is fantastic. Americans need to become resourceful. You guys are my heros.” (Thanks, for this positive encouragement!) A few say, “Oh my gosh, you have changed my life. Right here, right now. I have hope—How do I do what you have done?” (We will get to all the emails.) Still others, “You should have bought a trailer. This is stupid.” “No way I could live in a shed.” These judgemental comments are full of assumption. “They don’t buy their kids toys, but they have all the latest gadgets, laptop, cellphone.” Huh? Did I say how old my phone is? And that it has a crack across the screen or that if I didn’t have the phone none of this would be happening, since the mobile hotspot is our only internet connection? Did they see the kids’ loft, where the toys are kept? Nope. Shaming assumption.
I have been walking around with the voices lurking behind trees, in the fire as I burned the stumps Karl pulled out of the ground to make way for our bigger tiny house. What really loads me with shame is “Saving $3000 a month? How ‘bout paying back what you owe.” Was he trying to stifle our spirit? Our creativity? Our resourcefulness? This comment is full of shaming assumption. He knows nothing of our slow and deliberate efforts to repay and our very careful use of money, except a flat image, a snapshot of our life. He fails to realize that if every American had to repay every bit of debt before they did anything else, our most inventive entrepreneurs might not have taken the risk. If we had to repay the debt right now, we’d be slaving to do so and would probably need government assistance. What would the voices say about that? We repay our debt daily. We live with the shame, we breathe through it reminding ourselves that we’ve always worked hard, we’ve done what was right at each moment. It is right for us to build slowly and small. It is right for us to raise our kids to know that hard work does pay off and living within/below your means is freedom.
I am concerned about how quickly folks sitting at home will jump to write a negative comment under “A Yahoo! User”. What good does it do to throw around judgement from behind a wall of anonymity. Let’s be real, people. This economic crash is a wake up call for all of us. If our government isn’t going to change its ways, we the people can. We can take back our capacity for independent thought. We can move that to action. We can look at our situation and figure out a solution. We’ve been proactive with our situation. We are rebuilding without using any credit. No one, not even us, knows how we will repay our debts. But we pay them forward every chance we get. We have utmost responsibility to live our lives to our fullest capacity, to not crumble in the face of judgement and shame, to not snuff out our light before it is fully lit.
How ‘bout encouraging folks with your comments, like Navy Mom (thanks, Navy Mom), who says, “Living in a tiny home requires learning to get along – something this world needs more of! I love what this family is doing; they’re putting their priorities in the right places. We can all learn from them.” Let’s lift each other up with this positive assumption: we are all doing our best.