Refuse what you do not need.
I did not realize (or did I and chose to ignore it?) that the concept of consumerism created such a blind spot in my field of vision: thinking about the things I do not need and deciding to refuse them in my life. When one grew up with the phrase don’t look a given horse in the mouth then it’s easy to apply the horse not only to gifts but to any material thing coming along on your journey.
I started saying no to the easy ones:
- turning down freebies – even if it’s a free pen
- the heirlooms that the family never used but also never wanted to get rid of (although this one still is not so easy…)
- the plastic bag that you pay for when shopping
- food or drinks served in disposable containers (the added benefit is that this one helps to get rid of the waste around the waist)
- the flyers passed through your car window at every traffic light
The ones that take more time and effort:
- to not receive junk mail in one’s post box
- to receive only electronic letters – think of all the letters and pieces of paper you receive daily – from school, from work, from I don’t know even where
- to buy things that last a long time and are locally made
Then there are those items that I regularly find in the dust bin – items one could have said “no” to:
- sticky ice cream wrappers (visiting friends and family)
- energy bar snack wrappers (an easy lunch replacement; but is it really necessary?)
- plastic bags for items I can’t remember the names of (plastic upon plastic upon plastic)
Does this principle apply to people in one’s life too?
And you reader, what do you find easy to refuse? And, what do you find difficult to refuse?