Wednesday, August 6, 2008

100,000 Thing Challenge

I first heard about Dave Bruno's 100 Thing Challenge, through an article in the Süddeutschezeitung. I've been thinking about it a lot during the past three weeks as we pack up the house and fill the garage. We've got way too much stuff. Now that the house is mostly empty, it looks great. And I've always been outraged by the rampant consumerism that characterizes America. But I've come to the conclusion that the challenge is an overreaction and counterproductive. I've looked at the list and thought about it as I've chosen the things I'll be taking with me to Germany. It may work for a person who has few interests in life, but when I start to think about the tools I'll need, "100 Things" just doesn't cut it. I've got 100 brushes I'm bringing alone. I notice that there is an entry for bicycle on the list, but how about, helmet, gloves, pump, patch kit, lubricant, screwdriver? These seem to me like absolute minimal accessories for a responsible cyclist.

I hope I don't sound like I'm anti-Dave. I applaud the spirit of the challenge and wish him the best of luck. If he's responsible for even one cyclist throwing away a pair of those silly black lycra pants, I'll be delighted. But having gotten my house packed up and reducing my personal belongings to what I can carry on one of the increasingly stingy flights to Europe, I'm ready to say it out loud: 100 things really isn't enough.

We sealed the deal on a Wohnung this morning. Rike found us a fabulous place in Rüttenscheid. We've got three weeks still in Rhode Island before we arrive in Essen, but we're looking forward to exploring our new neighborhood when we arrive.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

It's an interesting challenge, though it appears he allows himself plenty of exceptions. (I find it funny that his backpack is sure to go, but the subscription to Backpacking magazine is a 'maybe.') I heard once, "Keep nothing in your home which you do not know to be useful or think to be beautiful." That would be a great principle to follow.