Sunday, April 12, 2009

Live and Let Live

by Donna L. Watkins

I remember that phrase growing up. It seems my Daddy would say it in response to somebody talking about what somebody else was doing. His philosophy was that we have enough to concern ourselves with in living our own life; why spend time and energy messing with somebody else's business.

© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - Take A Bow - Chickens, Costa Rica
I guess I interpret that in my life with the Bible's mandate to "judge not, lest I be judged accordingly," but I also live by the mandate of the title of this blog post and the thoughts contained within:

Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live
From The Good

By choosing our lifestyle carefully, we are in effect helping many other people around the world who have it a lot less fortunate than we do. Buying organic cotton clothes and bedding keeps pesticides and other toxins off farm worker’s bodies. Choosing to use biodegradable soaps and cleaners prevents our oceans and rivers from becoming toxic waste dumps.

Giving money to charity instead of splurging on yourself once in a while enables a kid in some far away land to get a textbook. In almost everything we do, there is an effect on someone else in the world. Just being wise to this fact can separate you from the herd.

Only a few extreme environmentalists want anyone to go live in a cave, eat only wheat grass, and read by candlelight only. Most of us are not that type of “green.”

I just want everyone to be able to live comfortably and mindfully, within their means, while having a minimal negative affect on the rest of the people on the planet. No matter how far away they are or what they do for a living, they are still people. And we all share the earth together, regardless of age, creed, sex, or the size of our wallets.

If we all do our best to keep in mind the other 6 billion people on the planet every time we shop or make lifestyle changes, we will all be better off. And there is nothing wrong with that at all.

It's certainly a great reinforcement for saying "no" when we want to "buy things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like." (Quote by Mary Ellen Edmunds) In this economy frugal is becoming popular and that forces us into more simple-minded concepts. We get more creative on reusing things we have and find solutions on fix-it projects with ideas that we never knew lay within us.

I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country so frugal was bred in regardless of how much money you had. The idea was in being a good steward; in not wasting resources at your disposal. The world hasn't operated on those principles for a long time. Maybe with the bad aspects of the economy, we will find much good in our lives and lifestyles and relationships as we process through it.

If you need some community support or answers to some of your own questions, visit The Frugal to search for topics or join the forum to ask your own question. Most likely you'll find what you need in a search. There's over 16,000 members and the website has compiled a lot of data in the 11 years it's been online.

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