Friday, April 15, 2011
Living with less does not mean we are living less; it simply means we are learning to live within our means. This includes the capability of the planet to sustain our population which is fast outstripping food and energy supplies. I see us going back to a gentler and more serene time when stress was not the leading cause of discord and strife among families.
Call me an idealist or whatever, but take a few moments, stand back and look at your life. If the super-recession has caused you to make do with less, then this is an opportunity to understand that life can be so much more rewarding and happier when you and your loved ones start working together to fulfill your daily needs. This process has a tendency to bring family and friends together in more meaningful ways than if everyone has more than they need and scatter into the wind, only meeting for brief hellos and good-byes.
Did you ever have a situation where you were extremely happy even though you had little extra money and worked very hard to put beans on the table? Times were tough, but times were also good because you appreciated the little things and didn’t worry about the next door neighbor’s new car because your car was paid for and still running good. I know I had those times and unfortunately I didn’t appreciate them. I wanted more money, more prestige, more – more – and more. I actually ended up with less, until I learned that comfortable was better than luxurious and being conservative was not a personality flaw.
I am not saying that this super-recession is all good; we need to grow as a nation and compete in a world market. All I am saying is that conserving our natural resources and living a modest life have maximum rewards. Driving less and walking more is good for your health. We are never too old to ride a bicycle (that’s why they make three-wheelers) to the corner store for that gallon of milk and loaf of bread, instead of firing up the gas hog. Shopping with coupons is so much fun for me that I want to go shopping with my wife. I feel like we are getting even for all the times shopping was an unnecessary extravaganza and we zeroed in on the most expensive items due to advertizing hype. Not any more, baby – let’s see how much money we can save at Bashas’!
Living a modest life can be fun and exciting, knowing that you are doing your part in conserving precious natural resources and leaving a sustainable planet for our children. Unfortunately, we cannot predict what the rest of the world will do, but we can do what is right for our country and set the example. This process takes place in our households and expands to more and more homes through that example. Being happy and smiling is extremely contagious. I guarantee an epidemic of laughter will take over our amazing country, and life will be so much better for all of us.