Is Less Really More?
Empty store shelves, back-ordered web purchases, higher food costs, increasing energy prices, slower services, and hours cut back at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop…How are you adjusting?
I remember several household habits from my childhood quite distinctly:
– Keeping lights off in a room that you were not using;
– Dad cleaning the dishes by hand;
– Mom giving the hair cuts;
– One bathroom for a household of seven people being do-able;
– Cans of vegetables being stored and rotated in the basement;
– Re-using or re-purposing plastic food containers, brown paper grocery bags, wrapping paper, news paper, milk jugs, etc…
I also remember as a family we would go out to eat on rare occasions, get along with one car just fine, and communicate with one home phone. I am a child of parents who grew up during the depression. The 1970’s weren’t the 1930’s, yet hard times did make their appearance none the less. Learning how to adapt to hard times is a skill not easily acquired if you have never been exposed to hard times. Our current inflation is a good reminder that hard times can make an appearance no matter what the circumstances.
Sometimes habits or behaviors from one generation transfer to the next…Obviously all the above household habits are healthy habits and I have used the experiences at times in my own adulthood. Reduce, reuse, recycle therefor comes naturally to me as does planning for one trip to grocery shop for the week and minimizing the stuff I WANT to have as opposed to the stuff that I NEED to have. But I really don’t think that my example has been adopted by my children all that well. My children have not been spoiled, but I think the consumer-driven era that they have grown up with can really spoil the generations of its time.
It’s a Woolworth vs an Amazon mentality. Either you can walk about a mile or so to get your basics or you can sit and have many different boxes and bags delivered on your doorstep. It’s a Main Street vs a Corporate Monstrosity mentality. Either you want to be in person with your community or you want a socially distant social media pseudo relationship. When people need a web device to direct their day to day experiences, then I suppose there may be less aggravation and more time for other experiences. But when people must use a more “hands on” and in-person approach to daily life, then one might find that less consumerism is actually required perhaps because the physical sensations are more satisfying. Sure, there may be more frustrations when you can’t find exactly what you want, but that can happen at Woolworth or Amazon. Some of us are just that picky lol! The ability to curb frustration is a cornerstone of healthy character building.
I believe that the Covid19 pandemic has really shed some light on this topic. Locking people down in their homes has driven the web-based consumer appetite to higher levels. This is obvious given the billions of dollars that the owners of these platforms have amassed. Lock-downs have also reinforced the notion that physically distancing from others is a medical necessity to minimize the spread of germs, but is there more to maintaining a healthy immune system? Of course there is! The average physically fit person on zero medications is a virus’s worst nightmare. Being around people when you are a healthy, fit individual builds immunity for the whole environment…Immunologists have known this for decades if not centuries.
A society that emulates a place of scarcity is similar to putting healthy, fit individuals in hiding from a virus…Wealth (similar to immunity) is not allowed to spread. In fact, hoarding can happen. But when a society embraces abundance, it builds wealth (i.e. immunity) for everyone in the environment and is almost “contagious”, but in a good way…Wealth and giving among and between individuals spreads! An individual in the USA always has the choice in an abundant environment to cut back on their consumption either to save money for the things that they wish to redirect the money for or to maintain a perspective of “reduce, reuse, recycle” (less can become more). However an individual living in an environment of scarcity will never be able to improve the quality of their consumption (less is always less). We should never allow the elitists in government to control our marketplace by imposing their will on our choices and our freedom of movement.
I want my children to live in a country where there is limitless abundance and opportunity for all individuals. A country that uses the framework of God’s Laws to help guide their choices and the Rule of Law to help hold them responsible. LESS control imposed by government IS MORE freedom for we the people!