I have noticed a beautiful trend among those who make thoughtful, purposeful decisions about the non-toxic products they use, the whole foods they eat, the scraps they compost and the companies they choose to support.
Generally speaking, that mindfulness also seems to extend to the relationships they nurture and the generosity with which they give. Why is this?
Maybe it’s that as we delve into the why’s and how’s of sustainable living we learn about how crop pesticides from conventional agriculture are making farmers and their families sick, how your cup of Fair Trade coffee actually helps to support strong local economies and entrepreneurialism, and how big box store shelves are filled cheaply on the backs of child laborers.
Knowledge of these issues has bred a growing concern for the well-being of others. Globalism doesn’t permit us to remain ignorant about how our actions and choices affect the lives of real people. We become aware of our power to either help or hurt through the lifestyle we live and I think that awareness helps to foster a greater compassion for those living in dire circumstances.
The results of green and simple living
1. Less stuff to take care of = more time for others.
A rallying cry of sustainable living is “live with less.” Less buying, less stuff, less clutter, less cheap junk, less consumerism. When our possessions are limited, so is the time that it takes to care for them. Freedom from “stuff” goes along with an increase in time and energy to give to things that are truly important.
2. Less stuff to buy = more money to share with others.
This one is simple. If you don’t spend it on things you don’t need, you’ll have it to share with those who need something far more than you do.
3. A mindful, conscientious attitude infiltrates all realms of our lives.
Basically, if we are mindful about what we buy and what we use on our body and how we care for the earth, doesn’t it follow that we will also be more mindful with other people and their needs and hurts and struggles?
4. Living more intentionally and simply helps us to get rid of the clutter and figure out what’s really important.
When we simplify our lives and make carefully thought out choices, it becomes that much more evident what our lives are about. We have clarity. We live our days with a stronger sense of mission and vision.
We hear a lot about things that go on in the world, things that we feel compassionate about and we wish that we could do more. We have ideas about what poverty looks like, some of our ideas more defined and accurate than others.
I’d like to invite you to join myself and four other bloggers (including Tsh of Simple Mom) starting May 29 through to June 4, as we head to the Philippines with Compassion International to get a more in-your-face look at poverty and the needs of those in a developing nation. To see what it looks like. What it smells like. What it sounds, and tastes, and even just the tiniest glimpse of what it might feel like.
Would you come? Pull up your chair, a favorite mug and and a willingness to see and be touched, and maybe even to be changed. I guarantee that those of us on the trip, we will be changed. I can’t yet anticipate what that will look like in my own life. All I know is that I will be there, with eyes wide open, and I will tell you how it looks from my vantage point.
How does simple, sustainable and mindful living allow you to give and serve more freely?