November 4, 2017 § 2 Comments
A single paper clip.
A sheet of paper, one side clean.
The heel of a loaf of bread.
A handful of rubber bands.
What are they worth?
They’re not worth the trouble of storing them until needed.
Not worth the effort or ingenuity required to put them to use right now.
So, without thought, we default to the easiest solution. We toss them in the trash.
This cavalier treatment of the small-but-useful object is not a constant when it comes to human behavior, but it has held steady for quite a while in this period of prolonged bounty.
Here is an adage that expressed our relationship with small but useful objects during the Great Depression:
Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.
If there were a saying that summed up our treatment of the objects in our lives today, it would surely end with, “throw it out.” « Read the rest of this entry »