Stigmas and Steve Harvey.

Macy M31 comments10465 views

Stigmas get spread far too easily, I think it’s important to step back and try to find some empathy for folks who cast stones and make an effort to understand.  Then speak up for what you believe in a respectful and meaningful way.  If you just go off spouting back you are no better than those casting the stones, and it’s a waste of energy.   Speak up with actions or words, respectfully.

Steve Harvey recently had a segment that was brought to my attention that I feel I have to use as an example (I have to admit I didn’t know Steve Harvey had a show, I only know him as the Family Feud guy…).   It’s here if you care to see, watch to the end if you will.

Being in the tiny house realm for a while it has been interesting to see… First they were a joke, but not a central one, hardly anyone knew of a tiny house and it was rare to find someone who didn’t openly make fun of the idea, even if they didn’t know they were.  Then things got really trendy, shows were made, lots of people got on board with the idea… because for lots of people it makes sense!  I’ve noticed recently that the pendulum is swinging back the other way.  There is a whole slew of articles coming out that shame tiny houses and tiny housers!

(Side story)

I was personally been interviewed by a large website just before the New Year.  They contacted me, straight out told me they are looking for the ‘dirty side’ of tiny house living, they are ‘tired of the rainbows and sunshine stories being told’ but [the best part] that they ‘are having a hard time finding someone who lives tiny to ‘tell them the truth’!!! I found this to be extremely sad yet funny that right off the batt, they say that they have contacted MANY people and can’t get the story that they want so they are continuing to try to find someone who fits their idea… me.

Fortunately I am versed enough in these interviews to see this as a warning sign that I need to be firm.  I spent just shy of an hour chatting with her.  The interviewer continually tried to get me to say certain things, when I wouldn’t she started making her own sentences up saying ‘would you agree?’ after.  She was desperately searching for a quote that fit her agenda so she could place my name next to it but ALL of it was so wildly far from the truth.  We both ended the ‘interview’ frustrated, neither of us got the other to see their side, I felt like I wasted my own valuable time, she didn’t get what she wanted.  The story just came out a week or two ago and it was riddled with far fetched examples and straight up misleading and misquoted ‘information’, but it fit her agenda… I felt bad for the subjects in the article because I have unfortunately been in their shoes, the subject of a less than flattering story…  it happens all the time! (I won’t link the story because I would hate to perpetuate that sort of thing by helping to up the traffic that sees it with a link)

This person called themselves a journalist yet called me looking to wrap me around her story rather than calling me and finding out the story.  ‘Her editor’ (the person she blamed it all on) had an agenda and they just needed a person to pin it on.  I am glad I was not that person this time.

Back to the point of this… I am all for tiny house coverage.  Facts, opinions, for AND against the idea/movement, whatever you call it.  It’s a big decision, it’s best looked at from all angles!  Unfortunately, we are flooded with opinions stated as facts and now I am noticing public figures openly bashing things which are very clearly not researched at all.  The part that bothers me is that opinions are being stated as facts.  I think unless you have been on the other side it’s hard to know just how far these things have gone off course, so many people have yet to learn that and so they trust certain sources (in my experience, the bigger the outlet the more likely it’s skewed…).  Please be careful what you read and honestly, take ALL of it with a grain of salt.

Steve Harvey flat out made me mad.  He’s not a news guy, I know.  I get that he is a comedian, it’s his job to make people laugh.  He may have had a bad experience with homelessness, that is TOTALLY a different topic.  It’s my feeling that a public figure has an ethical obligation to at least consider things from more than one angle before influencing the direction of his audience.   Honestly, I didn’t agree with any of his ‘points’, they sounded like someone who heard of this idea an hour before cameras went on [may be true], but none of it was anything I hadn’t already heard… until the end.  ‘My dreams are too small’.  ‘I’m stupid’.

Completely uncalled for.  I do not know of a single group of people whom it is ok to say that to and/or about.  That is not funny and if you have to resort to insulting people you should re-evaluate your comic ‘skills’, and that is setting aside all his ‘Christian values’ constantly preached.  His piece on tiny houses was ignorant, dismissive and rude. There are people who want tiny houses, who find hope in the idea, who struggle, he just made them feel bad about themselves…  I face no hardships and he made me feel a little bad about myself, it takes me a second to realize that it only reflects on him, not me and not us.

I want people to know, nearly everything he stated to justify his opinion was completely counter to reality (you don’t work your whole life away for a tiny house, you have a tiny house so you don’t have to work your whole life away, as an example). People are allowed to have different dreams and to make different choices, they shouldn’t be allowed or encouraged (with ratings) to judge others’ decisions and call names.

Unfortunately many people may dismiss what is otherwise a good idea because that his opinion is what they think of when they think ‘tiny house’. The social stigmas are a hard obstacle to overcome and the fact is that there are enough other obstacles to overcome when going down this path without throwing in uneducated opinions…

I just wanted to bring light to the fact that this stuff happens, Mr. Harvey, the ‘journalist’, those things reflect on those individuals, their integrity and their character and the character or the network/outlets they work for.  It’s good to have critics (they make you fight for what you believe) but it’s much better to find your helpers.  When you have your support system it’s easier to shrug off these types of characters… It’s very important though, no matter how insulted you feel that you don’t stoop to the same level, that is unproductive for everyone.  Keep your integrity, hold your head high, do what is best for you because it is YOUR life, there is a great big tribe of folks that will back you on the decision to go tiny.  Pick your tribe carefully (and in this century our tribe can and may include these public figures), you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with… it might be time to turn the channel.  Bigger is definitely not always better!  Tiny dreams are plenty big enough!  I know that from experience!

give-people-high-fives-kid-president-quotes-sayings-pictures

Advertisements

31 Comments

  1. Macy, great post, thank you. Because I run an organization that advocates for inmates, I know a little bit about stigmas and the harm they do. I encounter stone-throwers on a daily basis. I am working on a new project in which formerly incarcerated people help each other build their own tiny houses – so they never have to worry about where they will live. I expect the stones to keep coming. One of my heroes, Bryan Stevenson, wrote in his book, “Just Mercy,” about what it means to be a stonecatcher. You said it perfectly, try to find some empathy, make an effort to understand, and speak up for what you believe in in a respectful way.

    1. What an interesting idea! I like that, it seems like there are some great opportunities with that, helping physically and emotionally build a community, learning a trade, empowering confidence! Do you have more information? I would love to learn more. So far this is one of my favorite ideas I have heard tiny houses used for (along with as retirement homes substitutes… for entirely different reasons!)

      1. This project is in the early planning stages – and we’re looking for support from other tiny house builders and enthusiasts. The idea is that it would be a re-entry program / halfway house, where newly released people could learn a marketable skill, contribute and invest in a supportive community (perhaps even with a community garden), and build their own tiny house that they could either sell or drive away. They may also choose to stay on as an instructor or mentor, teaching others the skills they’ve learned. It would be open to families, rather than just for men or women.

        1. That is a fantastic plan, I love it, please let me know if there is any way I can help spread the word when needed! I’d be happy to donate my courses (if it’s useful) or help any way I can to help get things rolling. I know it must be a big complex thing you’re dealing with, tiny houses are one issue in an of themselves and then aligning other things must be a bear, way to go taking it on, I want to see you succeed!

          1. Wow, Macy, that’s SO beautiful and amazing to have support from someone like you – well, from YOU! Thank you, your courses and/or direction and advice would be *phenomenal!* and we welcome any and all of it 🙂

  2. I couldn’t even believe my ears when he said ‘I’m stupid!’… how hurtful, and aimed at the tiny house movement which tends to be full of people with good hearts… i would say ‘shame on him’ but shame hurts almost as much as his comment did, so i will take your advice and rise above it.

  3. Actually my dream is to have a tiny house!! I currently live in a 5400 square foot house with 10 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms…..and I have cleaned all 12 in one day in the past. Although this is a B&B, it is far too large for us and I have never enjoyed living here, even when I was younger. At 83 and 65 my husband and I are far too old to keep this place, but he built it from the ground up and refuses to sell. I long for a simpler life and my dream is a custom built tiny house with your floor plan, high end finishes, off the grid with a beefy enough solar system to charge my [hope to have] electric car! P.S. I don’t care if Steve Harvey thinks I’m stupid or not

  4. Hi Macy,
    Great response to Steve Harvey. I know that he is a comedian, and sometimes even watch his show. It seems to me that he used the tiny house theme to get some laughs without really considering in depth what he was saying. It a superficial view without merit on his part. He is definitely not anyone to consider seriously about the Tiny House movement. I love Tiny houses and have been following the community for years. Keep doing your good work Macy!. It’s much appreciated.
    Sincerely, Mary Ann Gonsalves

  5. Macy, I have thought for a very long time that Steve Harvey is a stupid and ignorant human being that wants people to “AXE” him about different things. Well, he doesn’t even have a decent vocabulary to work with, that’s just to begin with. TV producers are SO “money hungry” that they put this trash on TV then wonder why no one watches this…this. THIS JUNK. well stupid people must enjoy his show, because they have little brain power or no ambition to do better for their lives. As a future tiny Houser we just need to turn away form ignorance and do our own thing to make a better world, for ourselves and the kids that do want to be educated and have decent lives. Don’t let ignorance such as we see on TV ruin or kill your spirit and drive in life. I appreciate you and your work very much. Hunter

    1. I just swapped out the video so that it points to your channel, hope that is ok, I figure it can accumulate views and comments in one spot! Thanks Fran!

  6. Great post Macy!! Most people I know have been full of admiration for my husband and I after moving into our 310 sq ft house- but a few people including ‘important’ people at my job have made a lot of disparaging comments publicly- it’s just always so sad to me the amount of people who think something is ‘stupid’ because they don’t understand it or it’s not their experience.

  7. Been checking your site ever since I saw the movie Tiny. I love it and hope you keep up the great work! My wife and I bought land in Idaho and are thinking about building (or having someone build) a home that will be our retirement home in a few years. We live in NY now. Anyway, regarding this video, I’m really not surprised that “normal” people view something novel as ‘stupid’. I try not to think about what others think as long as my wife and I are happy with the decisions we make and we live in the present moment. Besides, I don’t want to be slaving away in NYC for the rest of my life!! The Steve Harvey’s can have this life all day long!!! 🙂

    Anyway, sorry for the long-winded reply. Keep up the great work!!!

    1. the best mindset to have! Thank you so much for your kind words! I wish you and your wife a very early welcome to the neighborhood, not a bad place to retire!! 🙂

  8. Financial institutions don’t want people to build a home without getting a large loan. Steve Harvey, Corporate yes man, of the entertainment world. Any time you can get a celebrity to say something negative for your cause, it has an impact. To Steve I say,how do you know what others dream for their future and what may be on their vision board? I have faith that my future holds no rent or mortgage, less utility expenses, many trips to Europe and the freedom to live how I choose and not how someone else thinks I should live.

  9. I’m so very sorry Macy ,that you are subjected to such garbage!!! My eldest granddaughter lived in the D.C. are and bought into the Mc mansion idea,HAted it.Hated having ti abide by all the Homowner association CRAP Her husband had a good education Masters in Mechanical engineering,After a year or so they Had all they could take of the whole thing and took a lower paying job and moved home to Idaho.He framed houses to help pay his way through Colledge,and has family in the building trades, So they want to build themselves a small 5 or 600 square foot home build it themselves without a mortgage. I personally think they are brilliant Although they have sure taken a lot of crap from a lot of others including her own mother .Alot of people are coming around which I am really glad for, but I personally think it is crazy to tie yourself down to a mortgage for your lifetime .Horrah for you Macy and People like you that are using your brain instead of your ego. I personally live in a 4400 foot house with my husband .We own it outright, but still the taxes and upkeep are stupid
    We are in the process of selling!!!!!!!!

  10. Once again you inspire me. I recently started a blog of my own. Mostly to document my path to tiny. It’s a huge shift for my husband and I. When I saw this clip from Steve Harvey I was hurt. The anger was fleeting, but I was hurt. I know as the Tiny house come to fruition I will get criticism from my family and as the “big dreamer” in my family to think I’ll be seen as small hurts.

    I don’t want to be famous. I do want to be significant and I can’t do that grinding out 50+ hours a week to pay for a mortgage and lots of stuff. At the moment I don’t have the time or energy for a social life. I see possibly in living tiny. I see HOPE. I see a future that I want to be a part of in living tiny. My 2000 Sq foot home is not offering that.

    Your story inspired me before Macy, your comments here continue to do the same. I hope it is ok, I referred others to your site from my blog.

  11. Wow! I am sum what suprised how hateful Steve Harvey was. Yes he makes comments but not to offend people. I used to watch his show and I liked it. That was degrading. Let me just say that he should talk to people and find out why they want to live in a tiny house. I would LOVE to live in a tiny house because now I am living in a 1100 Sq ft house I have a hard time keep that up, because I became handicapped 5 years because someone hit my car and caused knee and leg issues. I suffer from RSD (regional symthmatic dystrophy ) to keep it short nerve damage in my leg and 8 surgeries. Living in a tiny house would be perfect for me. That is a dream for me I am on social security disability. I could make payments on one. Steve Harvey needs to see what peoples reasons are. Then he might not be so quick to judge. He calls himself a Christian?
    Sorry so long
    Elaina

  12. It’s weird, I met Steve Harvey (I was a guest on his show) and he really was a nice, funny guy. Watching the video made me kinda sad and I wonder how he could be so crass and ignorant to the tiny house movement.

    I liked hearing your thoughts on it!

Leave a Response