Monday, May 7, 2012

Henri Nouwen: Hoarding

The Temptation to Hoard 

As fearful people we are inclined to develop a mind-set that makes us say:  "There's not enough food for everyone, so I better be sure I save enough for myself in case of emergency," or "There's not enough knowledge for everyone to enjoy; so I'd better keep my knowledge to myself, so no one else will use it" or "There's not enough love to give to everybody, so I'd better keep my friends for myself to prevent others from taking them away from me."   This is a scarcity mentality.  It involves hoarding whatever we have, fearful that we won't have enough to survive.  The tragedy, however, is that what you cling to ends up rotting in your hands.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen

Things exercise a certain tyranny over us. Whenever I am checking bags at an airport, I recall St. Teresa of Avila's wonderful prayer of praise, "Thank God for the things that I do not own." 
- The Quotidian Mysteries by Kathleen Norris

So, I must be a hoarder if I have a hard time getting rid of stuff...right? I mean, I'm not like mega bad at it, but I have too much stuff and I dream of having little. Do you hoard, or are you one of those lovely organized and light weight people that I would love to be?

- Kristyn


1 comment:

  1. I'm sort of a hoarder, though I'm getting better. My Grannie grew up in the Depression, and she passed her save-everything-just-in-case mentality on to my dad, who passed it on to me. But I find that I am happiest when I live with my hands open and giving. Moving to San Francisco, we got rid of almost half of our stuff out of necessity, but I'd still love to get rid of more. Maybe that makes me a recovering hoarder?


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