Greg Johnson of the Small House Society talks about the tiny house movement over the past 19 years. This event took place at the Public Library in Hiawatha, Iowa.
In the segment about finding happiness, Jakes states, “Your big house is not going to make you happy… Peace and joy is in your heart and not in your stuff.”
The conversation seemed to be related to simpler and smaller living, so we posted it to our Facebook page.
In just a few hours, it had already turned out to be one of the most popular posts to our page in recent months.
At the time of this writing, just a few hours after posting the video, over 3,000 people have viewed the post and there are over 30 likes.
Despite the apparent interest in the video (it has about 5 million total views in three days), three people were apparently offended by it, primarily due to criticisms about T.D. Jakes.
Comments included, “Doesn’t this guy live in a mansion worth nearly $7 million?” and “The hypocrisy is staggering, and this is pretty inappropriate for the list.” One person commented, “This from someone who’s parishioners have paid for his biggest house(s).”
Someone responded to these criticisms saying, “but he is saying a big house doesn’t make you happy and he should know!”
A simple Google search on T.D. Jakes and the word scandal produces over 180,000 results. That’s probably typical for any powerful high profile person today. Depending on your viewpoint, Jakes is either a villain or hero. If you’re among his 4 million Facebook fans, you probably think he’s a hero.
Focus on Promoting Smaller Living
There are people helping promote the message of simpler smaller living who may have views and motives contrary to ours. Some may be builders, bloggers, authors, and others in the movement for purely opportunistic reasons. Others may be public figures promoting a message of simpler smaller living. (We know little about T.D. Jakes’ personal life or where he stands on various issues.)
One approach would be to censor, silence, criticize, marginalize, and discredit anyone we don’t agree with, or those we feel aren’t ‘true followers’ of the movement.
However, the approach we take is this: If a builder, blogger, author, or public figure is promoting a message about smaller and simpler living, we’re going to consider them as valuable to our cause.
There are people who seem to be taking advantage of the movement by launching websites filled with advertising. Their primary goal appears to be making money on advertising, and they don’t seem to care about the movement. Others care deeply about the movement and are selflessly giving of their time and resources.
While at some level we care about people’s motives, ultimately if their activities are promoting our message, we’re not here to judge people, but to spread a message.
T.D. Jakes Impact
Years ago, when the Oprah Winfrey Show contacted us about a small house episode, we didn’t refuse to work with their team because Oprah lives in a big house. We didn’t start judging Oprah’s lifestyle choices. When prominent public figures with millions of followers show an interest in the smaller and simpler message, we support them.
T.D. Jakes has a significant following and impact through social media. So, regardless of whether someone is a supporter or critic of him, his message about simpler smaller living, is a message that is important.
Here’s a brief summary about T.D. Jakes social media reach:
- Facebook – 4.1 million followers
- Twitter – 1.8 million followers
- Instagram – 590,000 followers
- His church has 30,000 members, and thousands more support his events, online ministry, and movies.
So, if T.D. Jakes wants to talk about simpler and smaller living, that’s fine with us.
The Message and The Messenger
Maybe you’re someone who feels that you’re more perfect than the next person. Here’s something to consider…
There are plenty of broken and imperfect people in the world. Despite their failings or even apparent hypocrisy, these people accomplish much good in the world.
Sometimes an inspired and valuable message will come through an imperfect messenger.
In varying degrees we’re all imperfect and each have our shortcomings. We’re all doing the best we can to have a positive impact on the world. Let’s do our best to work together cooperatively and respectfully.
Today, for the first time in over 12 years we had a member leave the Small House Society. So, the Small House Society is now a little smaller. Here’s what happened…
In response to the above video posted to our Facebook page, Mary P. stated:
“this shot will definately get me to ‘unlike’ …. sorry … we all know IT happens …. I’m guessing you’re trying to build up your likes ….. if this is so …. then I, for one will have to say bye bye ….. seriously??? I’ve seen WAY too many other FB pages that actually know how to build a desk seperate from the toilet …. SHAME!!!!”
Mary left before we could respond to her.
We’re thankful to everyone for the lively Facebook discussion and many positive comments/likes in response to this video. For the few people, like Mary, who were upset about the video, we wanted to respond with the following.
This video appears to have been created by people close to the small house movement, and we assume it was not mean spirited or meant to offend.
It may have been created as a way of being satirical and self-effacing, or it may have been created as an effort to be mean and try to discredit the small house movement and tiny house dwellers. Either way, it belongs here as part of the larger discussion about simple and small living.
We don’t silence and censor our critics. To the extent that people have criticisms about the small house movement, we want to hear those criticisms, reflect on them, respond courteously, and work to improve what we do.
For this reason, in any movement, it is essential to become the authoritative source and platform for the criticism of your movement. Instead of censoring others in an effort to create a cult-like myopic sectarian strict observance of narrow dogma, it’s important to have a diversity of ideas, the ability to laugh at yourself, and recognize your own faults or areas that can improve.
This is the spirit upon which the Small House Society was founded, and in that spirit we continue.
For anyone thinking about purchasing a home, or building one, Airbnb lets you experience a variety of homes, and even visit various cities for those seeking a new community to call home. The videos below offer an introduction to Airbnb. There are some wonderful tiny homes as well.
The video below shows how KLM airlines created an apartment in the sky.
Airbnb in Delhi
Nalin works in the software industry in Delhi. Hosting is one of the most fulfilling things he does, and he also enjoys being the guest on his various travels.
Hosts of Airbnb
Here are various stories about hosts of Airbnb.
Airbnb Events and Venues
Videos about special Airbnb events and venues.
In May 2012, an Airbnb guest, Cathrine, told us a powerful story of a trip she took to Berlin with her father, Jörg, a Berlin Wall guard at the height of the Cold War. She wanted to show him the vibrant city Berlin had become, but it was the man they met at their Airbnb apartment that changed everything for Jörg. Discover more at http://belonganywhere.com
The videos below share the Belong Anywhere story.
The video above demonstrates an incredible product that is pre-launch stage that harvests and distributes grey water and it is portable.
- Recycle water from the shower, bath and laundry
- No need for any diversion plumbing
- Utilizing specially designed and patented plug hole collection apparatus
- Twin pump design giving faucet pressure for recycled water distribution
- 12v rechargeable power pack –solar powered recharge as well as AC top up
- Includes all attachments for collection and distribution of grey water
- Collect, Transport and distribute to lawns and gardens with one completely portable operation.
An average household could save and recycle the equivalent of an average sized swimming pool over a year.
Meaning greener lawns and healthier gardens while maintaining reduced potable water usage!
I absolutely love this product. I will be signing up as a distributor if anyone would like to get put on a list when they are available.
The above article, written by Janet Thome, was reposted with permission from TinyPortableCedarCabins.com.
Demand for housing in Washington, DC is going through the roof. Over a thousand people move to the nation’s capital every month, driving up the cost of housing, and turning the city into a construction zone. Tower cranes rising high above the city streets have become so common, they’re just part of the background.
But as fast as the cranes can rise, demand for housing has shot up even faster, making DC among the most expensive cities in the United States. With average home prices at $453 per square foot, it’s every bit as expensive as New York City. And the struggles of one homebuilder shows just why the city’s shortage looks to continue for a long time.
“I got driven down the tiny house road because of affordability, simplicity, sustainability, and then mobility,” says Jay Austin, who designed a custom 140-square-foot house in Washington, DC. Despite the miniscule size, his “Matchbox” house is stylish, well-built, and it includes all the necessities (if not the luxuries) of life: a bathroom, a shower, a modest kitchen, office space, and a bedroom loft. There’s even a hot tub outside.
Clever design elements make the most of minimalism. The Matchbox’s high ceilings, skylight, and wide windows make the small space feel modern, uncluttered, and open.
At a cost that ranges from $10,000 to $50,000, tiny homes like the Matchbox could help to ease the shortage of affordable housing in the capital city. Heating and cooling costs are negligible. Rainwater catchment systems help to make the homes self-sustaining. They’re an attractive option to the very sort of residents who the city attracts in abundance: single, young professionals without a lot of stuff, who aren’t ready to take on a large mortgage.
But tiny houses come with one enormous catch: they’re illegal, in violation of several codes in Washington DC’s Zoning Ordinance. Among the many requirements in the 34 chapters and 600 pages of code are mandates defining minimum lot size, room sizes, alleyway widths, and “accessory dwelling units” that prevent tiny houses from being anything more than a part-time residence.
That’s why Austin and his tiny house-dwelling neighbors at Boneyard Studios don’t actually live in their own homes much of the time. To skirt some of the zoning regulations, they’ve added wheels to their homes, which reclassifies them as trailers – and subjects them to regulation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. But current law still requires them to either move their homes from time to time, or keep permanent residences elsewhere.
The DC Office of Zoning, the Zoning Commission, the Zoning Administrator, the Board of Zoning Adjustment, and the Office of Planning all declined to comment on the laws that prevent citizens from living in tiny houses. But their website offers a clue:
Outdated terms like telegraph office and tenement house still reside in our regulations. Concepts like parking standards and antenna regulations are based on 1950s technology, and new concepts like sustainable development had not even been envisioned.
Complex as it is, the Zoning Ordinance of the District of Columbia was approved in 1958. That’s over five decades of cultural change and building innovations, like tiny houses, that the code wasn’t designed to address.
Exemptions and alterations to the code are possible – many are granted every year – but they don’t come cheaply. Lisa Sturtevant of the National Housing Conference estimates that typical approvals add up to $50,000 to the cost of a new single-family unit. That’s why large, wealthy developers enjoy greater flexibility to build in the city, but tiny house dwellers… not so much.
Fortunately, a comprehensive rewrite of the zoning code has been in the works for much of the last decade. Efforts to allow more affordable housing are underway, although many of these solutions favor large developers. Future plans still forbid tiny houses. Austin estimates that, given the current glacial pace of change among the city’s many zoning committees, tiny houses are “many years, if not decades out” from being allowed in the city.
For now, Jay Austin is allowed to build the home of his dreams – he just can’t live there. The Matchbox has become a part-time residence and a full-time showpiece. The community of tiny houses at Boneyard Studios are periodically displayed to the public in the hopes of changing a zoning authority that hasn’t updated a zoning code in 56 years.
Runs about 10:30
Produced, shot, written, narrated, and edited by Todd Krainin.
Additional music by Lee Rosevere.
Learn More at Reason.com
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