While tiny houses are a small but growing trend in the United States, there are many countries where they are the norm–not by choice, perhaps, but by local custom and/or necessity caused by lack of land, building materials, and financial resources.
The tiny, circular homes in this picture are typical of those found in Botswana. While the structures provide sleeping quarters and shelter from storms and wild animals, people spend much of their lives outdoors working their fields, tending their livestock, and raising their children.
There is no room in such small dwellings for unnecessary items. Nor are there storage barns behind them or rental units for those things that overflow home closets, as the people don’t have that many possessions. Our world would be a different place if we could say the same.
Downsizing is something most of us have to do at some point in our lives. It is also something that some tiny home residents have chosen to do to free themselves from lives ruled by their stuff. What they gain by getting rid of almost everything except necessities is time. Freed from the chores of cleaning a bigger home, working to pay for more stuff, and organizing, maintaining and protecting their things, they have time to enjoy their families, time to care for their loved ones, time to simply be.
Where am I going with this discussion? I’m asking you to take a look at your own life. Are your activities determined by your possessions? I’m not advocating that we all move to tiny houses, but if we don’t have time to enjoy what we have, maybe it’s time to stop accumulating and to share those things we don’t need with people who could put them to good use; to buy less so we can work less; to live more simply that others might simply live.
by, Judy Osgood
*photo by Jan Tetzlaf