A Mouthful That Saves The World
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Let's start with a question.
How can we improve the quality of life by say 25% this year?
If you're like most people your thoughts might immediately turn towards
having more of certain things.
It's fair to say the media is effective at conditioning us down this path
of excess. Advertising aside, business analysts on the news strike fear
into the population when the economy doesn't grow. Suddenly there's a
horrible 'recession' hanging over us and people start to panic.
But I wonder about the nature of all this. If we keep growing surely there
reaches a point of excess. And if we keep pushing that boundary we must
come to a point where enough becomes, enough.
An example was on the TV last week - the plight of a 64 stone woman. I
could empathize to a certain extent since I was once obese. But I have
to admit I was shocked to hear that more than two million Americans are
40 stone plus (and I suspect there are a growing number in the UK with
a similar situations).
For a variety of reasons, as a society, now we're nearing capacity, we
seem to keep eating. I mean this not just in the food sense, but in the
sense of general consumption.
A map produced by the Campaign to Protect Rural England - CPRE shows the
shadow of urban growth 1960-2007. It shows urban growth as 15% over 30
years and then shows it as 9% in the next 15 years.
The map shows urban growth in black and when you look at it like that
it looks like a cancer across our green and pleasant lands.
We continue consuming on the pretense that "more" will cause greater pleasure,
prosperity and contentment.
But is this really true?
As a business owner I'm inspired by enlightened business leaders who have
the foresight to say, enough is enough with expansion.
These people make a decision to stop pushing financial growth and start
to maximize quality, efficiency, environmental change and community. These
people begin to ensure staff are given opportunities to grow as people.
These businesses become a pillar of the community.
When it comes to consuming, my buying choices are governed by more and
more joined up thinking. When I buy something I want to know how it will
degrade, if it comes from an ethical source, is it local.
I'm not perfect at this yet, but my radar is on. When I get caught out,
making a buying choice from habit, I catch it more and more frequently,
even if it's after the event.
An example of this was Christmas when I admit I ate chocolates wrapped
in silver foil and plastic wrapping that will end up in a landfill. They
were probably driven across the country by a mass producer who doesn't
care too much about the conditions of growing the chocolate, then probably
driven another hundred miles across the country to the supermarket that
sucks money out of the local economy. And that's when I arrived, panicked
and rushed and not thinking in the Christmas madness to literally 'grab'
some last minute things.
Having been caught out I'm on a mission now to ensure that by next year
my family (and maybe a few other families) support hand-made, fair-trade
confectionery, served in paper wrapping by a local retailer.
I'm not going to wait for someone else to come up with the idea, I'm going
to go out and demand that change in my local high street.
I think that's the message I want to get across, that we can all put the
radar on, see what's not good enough, be the leader and drive change by
asking the right questions.
I know some of the readers of this newsletter are District and Parish
Councilor, teachers, school governors, PTA organizers, business owners,
parents etc. And to the last one of us we know changes we want to see.
My encouragement today is to say, make it happen.
Of course we all have our own choices to make. My way may not be for yours,
but as you set forth on your path for 2008, don't be fooled into thinking
that only by having more can we be satisfied.
Sometimes, less can be more! Start by trimming back on what no longer
serves you. Spiritually it gives you time and space to create the things
that really matter.
Out with the old, in with the new.
To be honest there is nothing like clutter to hold us back. I don't necessarily
mean household rubbish, I mean mental clutter, lifestyle clutter - the
junk that goes on in our head, the stuff that no longer serves us, the
things that we do subconsciously that we hardly notice - this is where
we need to start.
The Mouthful That Can Save the World
Start by cutting back on what you really don't need.
When you eat your dinner, pause after every mouthful and ask if you really
need the next mouthful. Ask if your hunger been satisfied. Ask if it's
time to stop rather than to fill up.
Maybe stop eating when you know the hunger is served. Next time serve
smaller portions. Buy a little less, become a little slimmer, save money,
save food miles, save trees, save the world.
See how the mental clutter clears, when you don't feel full and sluggish.
Feel how good it feels to have more energy, save more money. Enjoy the
good of caring for the environment.
What if you lose that excess weight and your body feels 25% better? What
if you buy a little less food and your bank savings over a year shows
a 25% improvement. What if your mind has fewer money worries and your
soul feels 25% better?
Change can begin this simply.
What change would you like to see?
With love and good wishes
About the Author:
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