Live Simply, So That Others May Simply Live (Gandhi)
“It is impossible to detach from the love of material things unless it is replaced by love for things unseen.” --Teresa of Avila St. Teresa of Avila's feast day was celebrated last week and the above quote reflects some of the things I have been pondering of late. This morning I was reading a chapter from Susan Murphy's Upside Down Zen where she states, "Recently I learned that the ecological footprint of how we live here in Australia is such that for every person on Earth to live as we do, seven more Earth's are needed. It is of little consolation to learn that the way of life in the United States requires eleven more Earths" (p. 85). It is necessary to recognize the role I play in living a consumeristic lifestyle. This is not easy to do, and since taking the vow of poverty in some ways it has become more difficult for me. I have commitments in Milwaukee and lately have been making 1-3 trips a week in that direction. One of the things I am attempting to do is stay overnight with a friend when possible to save on travel and gas. Gas is one of the areas where I may be able to cutback and attempt to lessen my footprint. Now I have to figure out how to be wiser about travel. It was so convenient the two years I lived across from work and near where I shopped and spent most of my time. A couple of years ago I began using a glass drinking bottle rather than plastics and then I broke it last week. The time in between then and getting a new one I purchased water at least 5-6 times, plus had to use plastic cups with water at some establishments. Living with water as a commodity is not an easy task and my hope is to find a way in which I do not have to pay for it ever. So far this has not been a success. I think this week may offer a good time to take an inventory of how I am using the resources given to me. Do I have a love for the unseen? Is this greater than my operating out of the dullness of convenience and my desire for more? There are areas in my life where a good cutback can take place. Using my own bottle and less gas offer a some ways that I am awakening to my consumeristic ways, and this journey at times feels like a purification. Yet, there is much to do yet as I look at what it means to live simply and attempt to lessen my ecological footprint.