Thursday, May 3, 2012
when less is more
This was not the post I intended to write today, but sometimes life gets the better of me and I feel compelled to get on my proverbial soapbox again.
I've noticed a whole lot of complaining lately over the cost of food, electricity, gasoline, etc. A person can't leave a grocery store without hearing at least one grumble, and standing near the gas pumps will get you a whole lot more, including a new appreciation for all the adjectives being used. (Very creative~vulgar, but creative.) You will also gain a new understanding of just how frustrated your neighbors really are.
I get it. Probably more than most.
See, we have a large house. 19 different rooms to be exact. That's 5600 sq. feet of area to heat and light up. There are 4 bathrooms in the house, two kitchens, a living room, dining room, family room and laundry room. And 10 bedrooms. Yes, 10. There are also 12 people living in this house. This means 12 people turning on and off (most of the time) the lights, flushing the toilets, cooking meals, washing/drying laundry, and eating.
We feel it too.
But if I dwell in that place where complaining about everything is the norm, my life becomes one of worry, stress, and pessimism. It becomes one that is no longer one of being grateful for the things that I have, but one that is filled with bitterness and anger for what I don't.
Recently I was invited to an event on Facebook. It is a 24-hour electricity blackout, intended for the people in my county to show the local public utilities company our concerns over the rising cost of power. And in the spirit of fairness, I understand. In the midst of rising costs, our elected officials have also given themselves some really fat raises called cost-of-living raises. Except most of them are making well over $100,000/year. And maybe they really do deserve those raises. But most of us who are having to watch our pennies aren't allowed "cost-of-living-adjustments," so I do understand the reasoning behind this protest. What I don't understand is the personal responsibility that the majority of people refuse to take.
Here's the thing. Change will not happen if a few people decide not to use their lights or turn on their televisions for a day. Change begins with each one of us in our own homes. We need to take responsibility for what we consume. If each person who is tired of paying higher prices for electricity, water, garbage, groceries, or gas were to do just one thing, it would make a difference where it counts.
So, what is that one thing?
If you want to send a real message that will be heard, use less.Turn down your thermostats/air conditioning. Flush less. Take shorter showers. Dry laundry outside or on a rack set up in your bathtub. Shop locally. Consolidate trips to town. Buy less processed or packaged foods. Recycle. Play more board games and watch less television.
If you want to make a real difference, complain less. You want change?
Be that change.
"Every time you spend money, you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want."
~Anna Lappe, author~
"I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself then make a change."
~Michael Jackson, singer/songwriter~