The good side of the Goodwill

old-receiverThe past has value. The current often undervalues the past.

One change during the last fifty years is that youth is worshipped and age is scorned. This is true for people — but also for things.

Thankfully, this is reversing a bit. We saw the movie The Intern over the weekend. Robert De Niro plays a retired executive who joins a young CEO, played by Anne Hathaway. By the end of the movie, she comes to appreciate all that he can offer her startup company. (Yes, the transformation is a bit unbelievable, but this is a movie.)

In much the same way, charity shops sell a boatload of cast-off items that once held value. The audio receiver pictured here was once state-of-the-art. You can buy one like it for a song — if you visit the Goodwill store near you often enough.

Sometimes it takes a person from a past era to shine value on the items from that era to someone of a younger era. It’s a form of translation.

Maybe a translation bureau will open up. (Venture capitalists apply here. I’ll sign on to represent the 70s.)


Will you use it?

a totally covered Toyota Land CruiserHow often do you use it? Is it worth covering when it takes 45 minutes to get it ready to use?

I passed this Toyota Land Cruiser on my way to work one morning. (I was on my bicycle, so it wasn’t hard to pause to take a quick picture.)

I understand the desire to collect nice things. But how often are you going to use that treasured item?

I ask myself this often. (Does it drive me to reduce my possessions? Not as frequently as I’d like!)


Smaller can be better

two wireless external keyboardsTwo external keyboards — the larger is the one that I used to have at work. The smaller is my new one, and I love it.

I realized that the numbers keypad was forcing me to type at an odd angle to the screen. The new smaller keyboard lets me type in a more ergonomic position. It’s much lighter and easier to move out of the way, when I need to use more of my desk. And, it’s more elegant.

America is in love with big things. If you travel to almost any other part of the world, you’ll see small.

What can you go smaller with? Play around with this idea and you might enjoy the results!