Monday, June 1, 2009

Collective Value


         We live in a world where everything is dispensable.  How many times have you heard the statement: “it doesn’t matter it’s just a plate, just a car, just a pair of shoes…” On one hand it’s our way of saying: “there are more meaningful things in life than our belongings.”  And yet, we forget that for everything we break or discard for something else, it means that we are asking the Earth to carry the burden of it.  Lets face it one of these days we’ll run out of space for our garbage.   Our ancestors left behind pottery; old tools for labor and worship but that is far cry from kilometers of dump space with everything from cars, to toys, and appliances.  Will the next generations of humans need that kind of reminder that their ancestors borrowed from their future and literally got buried in debt? 

How do we stop a bad habit that has gotten so out of hand that it became contagious all over the planet?  Some people will say, “there’s no use even trying”.  I tend to believe that it takes one to start and perhaps we can eventually reverse the contagion.  Why not give our excess belongings to those who are less fortunate? If you need a little money keep your boxes of old stuff for a garage sale.   Did you know that old computers and old lawn mowers could be recycled by experts in these fields? All it takes is to call around and see where these specialists are hiding.  It gives you a chance to get to know people and to open your mind to new ways as well.   If your renovating your kitchen sell your old cupboards on e-bay or use them to reorganize your garage.  Get creative and learn to give new value to old junk!

            I remember having a hard time furnishing my first apartment.  I was 19 and didn’t even have a pillow to my name.  When my husband and I went shopping for our first bed it was like it we were looking for the most precious thing in our life.  I never imagined that I would get to a point where I would feel like I have too much.  It’s a nice feeling to be abundant but at the same time it’s a responsibility one that we are not aware of as we are amassing it.  How do we teach our children to strive for success and good fortune but without being irresponsible and disrespectful towards others and Mother Earth?  I think this is a lesson that we often forget to teach and that it often takes a long time for us to learn.

            Every year I add a new plant, bush or tree to my garden.  This year I thought it would be best to work with what I have.  Plants, bushes and trees need to be taken cared of and every year they grow twice as big as the year before.  Taking care of a big home is kind of the same thing.  The roof and windows eventually need to be changed as well as the plumbing and the decoration.  How do you manage your abundance without getting overwhelmed and without eventually giving up on it?  I think that’s the question this month: “When does your good fortune become dispensable rather than valuable or priceless?”

             Commitment is something that we all struggle with.  When does it get to be too much commitment or is that even possible in the world of commitment?  Just this weekend I told my daughter “that I don’t believe in giving up on anyone or anything.”  I’m one of these people who believes that my choices will never lead me astray.  If I chose to marry a man or to buy a dog or to have children or to buy a house etc… it’s for the long haul.  I don’t take my decisions lightly.  I understand that at times the hardships make it difficult to believe in myself but faith is about believing in something bigger than me. 

            Everything we touch is nourished with memories and energy, which means everything we touch ends up having spirit.  It makes no sense to dispense and forget about anything that has spirit.   I try to keep that in mind as I bring changes in my home and in my life.   

2 comments:

Wheelkeeper said...

I am dealing with all of this right now Okwaho. As I debone this house, I feel a mix of relief and sadness The relief is at clearing out so much clutter. It is a huge chore as I am not one to just throw things in the dump. I have a fridge that needs repair and am offering if for free to someone who knows how to fix it.. yet people would rather go out and buy a new one. I can't bring myself to take it to the dump.

I also feel like this house was not my choice, it was a gift, a great gift and I hope to honor it by giving it some new owners who will appreciate and cherish it and make it their home.

There is a lot of work in trying to make sure every object and piece of furniture gets a new home, but I cannot just throw things out. It hurts me to have to take anything to the dump. I can only imagine how much it hurts Mother.


Thank you for your writings. Your words touch me because they touch on what I am also living at this time.

One of Many

Wapeyit Malsom said...

You may want to contact a local community center or a Church... they always need furniture, clothes, dishes etc... even a fridge. I remember buying my first fridge from a Church. It cost us 35$ and it worked fine for years!!!

Lisa