Rant and Rave

I see in my life all these things. Stuff. Accessories. Equipment. Technology. Computers, phones, clothes for every occasion and mood. Gadgets with widgets that I would never use or use only once. Bags with zips I don’t need, magazines I don’t read, soft furnishings that clog up my overworked attention. Stuff that piles up, gathers, collects, and is marked, allocated, and stored – to be fished out and used out of obligation once a season if that. These very important and interesting programs recorded on DSTV to watch…some time. Things that look bright and appealing, that I justify to myself fills a purpose in my life, in that moment I am in which is not one of true need. After I get it, the rush fades and the vacuum returns. In reality, I don’t need that, that is a poor substitute for the thing I crave – connection with others, social significance, a sense of achievement and purpose.

And I  think, well, if all this stuff is causing more of a problem than the solution they dress up to be, then I can just as easily live without it. I don’t really need the processed cheese with infusions of lavender and pecan nut, imported from Brazil. I don’t really need the wide-screen TV or the 12-piece garden furniture dragged out a total of three times during summer, all under a thin veneer of tolerance for people I suspect I barely know. Take it back, give it away, sell it to a pawn-shop.

If that is all it takes, it would probably make me happier to be without so much stuff.

I will always keep  the things that are vital to my physical well-being, like healthy, nutritious food, good quality clothing, shelter and medicine.

But I will think twice of what it is in stuff terms that I need for my spiritual health, and discard with the rest. The stuff that clogs my soul’s arteries, that is a crime to have in a world with so little, that robbed the earth to manufacture.

I will figure out how to do the things I like, with less of an impact. Like sharing a car, taking public transport and walking, buying organic clothing and other consumables, eating way less red meat and joining an organic veggie box delivery scheme, retrofitting my house with solar thermal, energy-efficient appliances and weatherisation, flying less or not at all by doing cool stuff closer to home, recycling and composting, gardening indigenous, calculating and offsetting my emissions with a credible offsetting agency, and supporting environmental and social justice causes globally and locally. I will also tell the people in my social circle about what it is  care about, and look for like-minded people with which to connect and be a stronger force. It is within my ability to educate and inspire, and help the seed of awareness spread.

Me learning to live with less, results in me living with more. More satisfaction, more freedom, and more time and mental energy for myself, family and friends.

Let me re-align my priorities, and stop living in a glossy future supported by props of stuff and things. I know through experience and wisdom that those are the things that cannot bring me lasting fulfilment.

And it is one of the most important things I can do, to live with less and to live with the environment in mind. In this day and age it is easy to educate myself with knowledge, about how best to tackle our most serious problems at their root. I know there are viable solutions out there, waiting to be demonstrated both through the seed of education and the hand of implementation. If I don’t do it, can I really rely on others to start? Who will?

It is up to me to decide what my priorities, my values and my principles entail – and I decide that I am alive at a critical point of time in earth’s history and future, and that my actions can and do make a difference. I decide to be part of the wave, for both myself, my loved ones, the unborn humans and all of life on this planet.


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