More Less, Please

Today on “House Hunters International,” a family of four from near-Toledo were seeking a vacation home in St. Croix. They were a nice family: he an ER doc. She a nurse (now SAHM of a 9 and 14 y.o). They needed an escape from their designer, 5400 sq ft. home in the most wealthy (ish) nation in the world.

Heap of crap at Christmas time! What does America Want?

Less.

It doesn’t actually know this.

It doesn’t actually believe this when told.

But it is true. America wants less.

It Desires More. 

But that Desire for “something more” is a bottomless pit of dissatisfaction.

Less.

Less: work, stuff, noise.

(The family from Ohio wants that too. They have everything in the U.S. they could dream of, but now that they’ve fulfilled their desires, they still hear the siren call of less: to something quieter. Simpler. Where they can hear the waves, they can walk to the market, and where their sons can share a room. And with a few less throw pillows.)

Question: What would you like less of?


This post is From September’s BIG QUESTION series, asking: “What does America want?” Please feel free to answer at will, here, there and anywhere!

Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home.

 

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  6 comments for “More Less, Please

  1. Frances
    September 2, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Less? I want less judgement, from everyone and myself. I want less responsibility and for people to worry less. Less complication, less distance between myself and the ones I love. Less girth, with less effort.

    But still I want more: I would like more time with my people. I would like more patience for my children. I would like more wine and more people to share it with. And more sleep – I think I can control that one but it does inflict on the ‘wine and people one’.

    • September 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Frances, how do we achieve less judgment and still be moms? ha! I disagree with less responsibility though maybe I am not sure what you mean, specifically.

      I personally think freedom is about the best thing in the world! But what happens to little kids when they have too much freedom? They feel completely insecure and run wild. Sometimes I feel like our great nation went that way. Limits help us focus more on the here and now, and not on the what ifs and I wants.

  2. marty
    September 5, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I want less inequality in the ways people either “enjoy” health care coverage, (“I want my grandmother seen 2-3x/day by the physical therapist; I don’t care if she IS 92 years old, and I don’t care that she hasn’t been awake for the last month…”) versus those who worry and struggle to live; (“We understand that you are still sick, you need further medication and care, but without insurance you will be discharged from this hospital… Can your family come from 200 miles to the north, pick you up, and drive you 600 mile south to Texas for possible continued hospitalization; because you can’t afford an ambulance to take you? Oh, and you have to leave within the next two days…”) Health “Care” is an prejudiced term I struggle with on a daily basis.

    • September 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

      Marty, stay tuned! We have an upcoming piece on just that!!

  3. September 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This is an extremely personal answer, but I would like less stress in the morning. I am not certain America wants less of that – but I know I do!

  4. November 30, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Great question, Elizabeth. I have known people who do not own stuff, they are owned by their stuff. They do not control their stuff, they are controlled by their stuff. My project this week is getting rid of stuff. Stuff that has been cluttering up the garage for decades. Stuff that perhaps some other family can put to good use. I want less Stuff.

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