We have been watching a lot of YouTube channels lately, more than any other media source by far. One of the channels we enjoy is Living Big in a Tiny House. The channel host, New Zealander Bryce, visits the owners of tiny houses all over the world and interviews them as they tour the owner’s tiny house.
I must say I’m most attracted to the idea of minimalist, comfortable living in a tiny house–starting life without a mortgage! Some of the designs are crazy interesting, and many of the owners are beautifully eccentric. Last night’s episode, which I will embed below, was of particular interest to me. Here’s why…
That Elusive Paradigm Shift
This particular tiny house is exceptionally rudimentary even for this channel. The owner sat on a pallet to make a cup of tea over an open fire, which she had to first build in the fireplace. Bryce asked her if living without electricity and running water was not far more time-consuming and inconvenient than living in a more traditional house with those basic services we have come to expect in even the most modest living circumstances. Her answer blew me away.
First, she thanked him for his question and then said she would make the exact opposite proposition. Rather than spending all of her time driving to work and working day in and day out to pay (for the next 30 years) the mortgage on a large home, to pay the electricity bill every month, to pay the gasoline bill every month, to pay the house gas bill every month, to pay the water bill every month and all of the expenses associated with maintaining a modern house with lots of furniture and things that require cleaning and care, she prefers to spend a little bit of time collecting kindling around her home for a fire, fetching water from the stream near the house, and living very simply, close to nature.
Complete Paradigm Shift
She gently makes the case that her lifestyle is far less stressful, much more in tune with reality, and probably a good bit less time consuming than trying to sustain the “advanced” cultural norms of ceaseless consumption. She has consciously chosen not to participate in the modern rat race–the endless cycle of running exhausted in the circular, spinning treadmill completely unable to stop or everything comes toppling down.
The viewer has to really open their mind to even understand what she is saying. It’s that radical. She flips everything on its head: She is living the real, authentic lifestyle, and modern cultural norms we accept as the way things are meant to be are the artifice, the non-reality, the abnormal, the unsustainable.
Admittedly, I enjoy trying to see things through the eyes of others–trying to see things exactly as they see them. After all, we all perceive reality in our own unique ways. And often the very same circumstances present themselves in completely different ways to different people. Trying to fully grasp that is more than just fun or entertaining, it broadens our perspective in ways that enrich our lives.
Seeing people that live and think very differently than we live and think can easily frighten us. Take just a minute to open your mind and try to understand her viewpoint, her unique perspective, her conscious choices by watching the short segment below. Given the chance, she will blow your mind.
At a glance on the street one might think she is a homeless person. No, she built and owns her own home debt-free. One might think she looks a bit crazy, maybe mentally ill? No, she thinks deeply and speaks thoughtfully, slowly and softly. A radical paradigm shift is a fascinating and beautiful thing!