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Friday, February 8, 2008

Live More Simply....

Simple living...for many that phrase invokes thoughts of perhaps farm life, baking your own bread, growing your own vegetables, maybe even a lifestyle similar to the Amish or other plain folk.

For many of us a dream. For many a reality. I tried the "simple life", goats, hens, a garden, horses, fruit trees, etc... let me tell you, it was anything but simple!! Hard work! Rewarding, but hard. I have to really respect and admire those who are able to not only attain, but MAINTAIN that lifestyle. My hats off....

But as much as I respect those who live like that, and quite enjoyed my hand at it, that's not quite what I am speaking of today..

Many who know me know one of my favorite quotes is one by Gandhi; Live more simply, so others may simply live. Just what does that mean?

While I don't know exactly what Gandhi had in mind when he spoke those words and what the context was when he said them here are some of my thoughts....

It bothers me so much and I can't make sense of why so many have so much and even more have so little or not enough. I am sure there is a reason, but I honestly have to admit I don't know what it is. The thing is it doesn't HAVE to be that way. There is much we can all do, but we ALL have to do it. Me alone wont make a huge difference, you alone wont, and the next person wont, and so on. But if we ALL did something, all of us put together could make a world of difference.

There are so many great organizations out there, you can check my side bar for some ideas(Compassion, Shoes for Orphans and more)

You may think you can't afford to help, but that's where this favorite quote of mine comes in to play; Live more simply so others may simply live. Can you give up your cable TV and send that money? Could you turn your thermostat down and send in the savings? What about eating at home more preparing simple home-made meals? Can you give up a habit? For me it was my Monster Energy Drinks, for you it may be your Starbucks coffee or cigarrettes or something else you should probaly do without anyway.

I really did not want to give up my full service satellite TV, I struggled so much with this one(and my Monsters) But then I suddenly felt so selfish. I don't want to give up these things that are clearly "wants" and not "needs" and meanwhile that money could be doing good elsewhere. I don't want to give up my TV, but that money could buy food for a hungry child or shoes for an orphan.

So, slowly but surely I am truly trying to Live more simply so others may simply live~

I am not writing these things to make you feel guilty or force you into giving up some of your luxery items or treats. I am just trying to give you some ideas of small things you can do to make a BIG difference in the life of another. MAny of the poor, especially in other countries are not poor by choice or anything they did or didn't do. For many it is just a matter of where they were born. Most countries don't have the government health care and welfare systems that we have here in America. Many depend on the generosity of others like you and me who are willing to do without a few of our extras and wants to give them some of their needs.

People like Mother Teresa and even Gandhi himself really took the live simply phrase to a whole other level by doing away with all wordly goods so they can live like those they were trying to help. They only kept simple items such as a robe, shoes or sandles, a bucket and perhaps one or two other small items. We don't need to go to quite that extreme to help others and make an impact. Of course the more simply you choose to live, the bigger impact you can make!

Think about it, pray about it, and if you feel led, try just this month to do away with just one or two of your luxery item and send that money to someone in need or an organization with a reputation you can trust. If you like how you felt after doing such and it didn't hurt too bad, would you consider doing it a second month or making a regular monthly commitment? Get the kids involved too. You'll find they are much more eager to help than you expected. Be careful though, the kids can really be the ones to challenge you to do more once you get them started!

P.S. Forgive any(and I am sure there are many) spelling errors. My Blogger spellcheck has not worked in weeks. I never have claimed to be an excellent or even good speller.

1 comment:

marygrace :-) said...

Several years ago, my husband and I were both deeply convicted to cut back on our lifestyle to allow us to live more simply. Now, we were not living a lavish life by any means, but still ... it was an adjustment. We got rid of cable t.v., let magazine subscriptions run out and gave up eating out. The end result wasn't financial. It was an eye-opening change in the way we use our resources. God has given us so much. How we chose to use it is up to us.

I really recommend watching this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZKLan6ea0s