Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Go Small or Go Home

Have you seen this commercial?  In it, the host asks children questions and they give the simplest, most straight forward answers.  Things like, "would you rather play in a world class stadium or on a driveway basketball court?"  The kids answer without hesitation every time!  The kids without fail pick the bigger, faster, stronger item they are presented.  And the tag at the end of the commercial is, "It's not complicated.  Bigger is better."

But actually, it is complicated.  Because bigger appears better (it's shinier, it's flashier, it's well...bigger) but is it truly better?

I don't think so.

A few years ago, or maybe more than a few now, I saw this series on PBS.  I highly encourage you to check it out.  Great lessons about living a slower, simpler life.

In the series, there is a wealthy Malibu family, used to tons of space in their Malibu beach home.  As they complete the six week challenge of surviving life on the frontier (simulating what families would have experienced who tried to travel west), they are confined to a small, one bedroom house to live.  The results are eye-opening.  Husband and wife, parents and children, and siblings all become markedly closer through the experience.

In the final episode of the series, the Malibu mom back in her palatial home notes that she misses life on the frontier, where her whole family was together, with no distractions, in their one bedroom home.

This past month, my family embarked on our own little adventure: our annual California roadtrip.  There were countless hours in the car, confined to our small Honda Pilot and drawn closer together by the limited space.

Here are just a few of the small pleasures in life that can make big difference.

small intimate spaces
one on one interactions
small groups
small portions (for sharing together, cuddled close)

If you want to experience true community, true intimacy with others might smaller actually be better? What do you think?

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