When stuff becomes burdensome


How many soap and shampoo bottles do you have in your shower? 6, 8, 4? Are they big? Small? Were they expensive? Have you ever thought about it?

I know that I’m well off compared to others around me. In fact I’ve know it for awhile now. I’m reminded about it all of the time by the people who are telling me to buy this or that for this expensive price because in dollars its nothing. But I forget it sometimes. Or maybe I never really realized it. Maybe I still don’t realize what amazingness I have at my disposal.

I don’t really feel that I’m that weird for having shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, no-tears shampoo for the boys, and my new green tea body scrub. But the other day when I was arranging it all in my new bathroom in front of the audience of kids with big eyes, I started realizing how MUCH it is. And how amazing it is that I have a bathroom to arrange it in…never mind that its a tin roof-squat toilet-dip shower bathroom that lets mosquitos in like a sieve…it has a toilet and a tap that usually pours water out on command. I don’t have to bring buckets up from the river. We don’t bathe in the river, except on occasion for the fun of it.

So what is my response to this never-ending feeling of uncomfortableness. Should I feel shame for having so much? Should I give it all away? Should I buy shampoo for EVERYONE? Should I lock the little kids out so they can’t see how much we have (they aren’t fooled, they saw the car parked next to the house)? Should I stop buying green tea body scrub as penance? Should we stop showering?

I usually teeter between all of those options. I don’t want to hurt people by making them dependent on me, and then eventually we will move on and they won’t have their shampoo supplier anymore (or whatever the issue d’jour is), and then they are worse off. I don’t want to help one person, and then have everyone feel jealous because I didn’t help them. I realize sometimes little things like green tea body scrub give me a moment of enjoyment and relaxation away from the dirt and busyness of the day and help me to hold on some more. I know having a shower takes less time than hauling water so we have more time for family, relationship building, language learning, etc. I like giving things to people. I like helping. So we juggle and teeter and think and ask for wisdom, and find ourselves walking a tight rope. We usually fall off, but I think people appreciate that we try.

I’m not just talking about shampoo anymore am I? I think we all struggle with the issue of giving of ourselves. Struggle with giving of our time and of our resources. Any great insights from any of you all?


One thought on “When stuff becomes burdensome

  1. Aww. Thanks Bev, you are so sweet. I have a stock of hotel shampoo too. It’s great stuff isn’t it…you can keep it for if we come visit sometime. Unless you want us to give it our neighbors….but they can afford soap…just not in the huge quantities and ‘exotic’ varieties I have. 🙂

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