Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity. ~Edwin Hubbell Chapin
Over the weekend I searched Next Door under “In Search Of” (ISO), it is like a game, looking for people who are looking for things that I am trying to get rid or/pass along in my journey toward Minimalism.
As I was scrolling, I came across one that we could fulfill:
“ISO Old Tools: Got a new job that requires I have my own tools, and they are expensive. If anyone has any old tools, even non-complete (sockets missing, Allen wrench missing, etc.). Really, really need a cordless drill and socket set if possible. I have very little money or can pay after my first check. Thank you.”
I immediately thought of our overflowing garage and my husband’s workbench; I knew he had tools out there that he no longer used or needed.
“It would be nice to help him out” I texted to my husband – along with a smiley emoji.
“I’m sure I have something. He can come over after C’s game tomorrow” my husband replied.
On Saturday afternoon, the young man (Ryan) came over. He was in his 30’s and was kind and appreciative. Ryan and I chatted as my husband went through his workbench drawers pulling out wrenches, saws, and other miscellaneous tools. Ryan was a veteran, having served in the Air Force and he told me stories about his service and how he just landed a job working maintenance in an apartment building he was living in. In addition to building maintenance, he refinished and repurposed old discarded furniture. The pictures of his work were impressive.
A hacksaw, tape-measure and socket set were added to the pile and my husband diligently sorted through his tools carefully evaluating what he had and no longer needed. Every so often we’d hear “I’ve got two of these, I only need one” which (hopefully) he realized: too much stuff.
After going through his workbench, he reached down to a low shelf and pulled out his old, huge toolbox; “I can’t even remember the last time I opened this, it’s been sitting in the garage for the last 15 years,” my husband said as he offered it to Ryan.
Ryan was grateful and offered to pay for the tools, but my husband and I wouldn’t accept payment; we just asked that he pay it forward and help someone who needed help
Later, my husband said he thought perhaps this guy had been looking for free tools so he could sell them for profit. That thought hadn’t crossed my mind.
I thought about my husband’s comment. If the guy sells the stuff and makes money, that is fine. If he truly needs it for work, that was also fine. He clearly needs it more than we do. The feeling of getting rid of things we aren’t using and providing an opportunity for someone to use is it – is much better than leaving it in the garage, unused and collecting dust.
Last night I received a text from Ryan:
“Hi Karen, I just want to say thank you again to you and P for all your kindness and generosity. You don’t understand how truly grateful I am. If you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.”
Ryan’s text makes me feel like my choice to continue my journey Minimalism is a good one: it feels great to pursue good, not goods.
I think my husband would agree.