What Could You Live Without?

hfcover0330aThis is a great story about a family that decided to take a plunge, and do something different. And while they went to a different extreme than most of us ever will, the premise stopped and made me think. Differently. And, hopefully, change the course of some decisions we make financially and for others. Thanks to the Salwen family, who have provided a great example of taking a different turn so that others can have more, it make me stop and think. What could you live without???

It all began with a stop at a red light.
Kevin Salwen, a writer and entrepreneur in Atlanta, was driving his 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, back from a sleepover in 2006. While waiting at a traffic light, they saw a black Mercedes coupe on one side and a homeless man begging for food on the other.
โ€œDad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal,โ€ Hannah protested. The light changed and they drove on, but Hannah was too young to be reasonable. She pestered her parents about inequity, insisting that she wanted to do something.

Click here to read the entire story.

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5 Replies to “What Could You Live Without?”

  1. What a great out-of-the-box idea, from a teenager. Loved how the wife said, โ€œWe essentially traded stuff for togetherness and connectedness.โ€ And, as always, when we give of ourselves and stretch we GAIN so much more.

  2. Great turn of a phrase: “treadmill of accumulation”

    Others have put it that we spend the first 80%, maybe it’s 99%, of our lives accumulating “stuff,” and the last desperate days and months trying to figure out how to get rid of it.

    Another aspect is how interested people have become in a series of extremely insightful books by a noted architect (Ms. Susanka) “the not so big house,” and many derivative works–www.notsobighouse.com
    That book, and discussions with a long time architect friend was a big part of our impulse to downsize our house, and ‘de-stuff’ ourselves.

  3. I think as a company, we should think about what we can live without. For one, Univera is not green. We encourage recycling but we waste so much in our packaging, which in turn increases the price of the products. I have had several complaints from customers and I am concerned too. Bottles are too big for their contents and flip-top caps are not necessary. L’initie’s package is grossly oversized. The 2oz cap that comes on Xtra and other liquid bottles is so wasteful. We only need one! Styrofoam is very harmful to our environment as is using paper, but we could use recycled paper. Isn’t there a way we can cut down on packaging and save our environment? Global warming is a serious problem and the U.S. is at the top of the list for abusing the environment. I really think we need to rethink our packaging.

  4. Well, I just finished a blog posting on Coachability, so bring it on! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’re right there are lots of things that we can (and many we are working towards) to be more considerate to the environment. I’ve published your comment and accept your suggestions as valid things that should be legitimately considered. Though, I don’t quite agree w/ your blanket generalization “Univera is not green”, and there are quite a number of other things that we either are doing or working towards becoming more green friendly–though I’ll not list them here since it’s not the right venue. I will provide one link, to the United Nations Global Compact, of which we are a member. Click here if you want to learn more. I think your ideas and considerations are good ones.

    My other suggestion is that you pass some of these ideas directly onto the VP Sales U.S. Meredith Berkich. Thanks for writing.

  5. I often think I would love to live much simpler! Recently I befriended and recruited someone that actually knits her own socks and cooks from scratch, and eventually wants to sew all her own clothes. And I believe, that when I finally see her home it is going to be refreshingly simple and uncluttered. I have a vision for my next home and it is going to be as simple as the one I have now is frou frou!! As much as we have donated, discarded and given away, we still have way to much. Quality problem I suppose. AND I am determined to pare down and simplify. I don’t think we own our stuff, it owns us.

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