I feel a sense of waste. I am not a wasteful person. I don’t waste money, food or the environment, but I have lately begun to see myself as wasteful. Perhaps it is because I have travelled the world and seen so many have so little and so few have so much. The wealth of the world is definably disproportionate.
I am very comfortable. Some would say I am more than comfortable. I enjoy my comfort and the ability to afford some of the luxuries of life. However, I have been on the other side of life struggling just to pay the rent. I definitely prefer being comfortable, but not because of the things I can buy, but because of the stress that is removed. I no longer carry the stress of paying the bills with nothing left over for emergencies. Now my energy goes into what I choose to do with my time and my money. What I choose to do is teach others the merits of health.
Most of my friends are comfortable. Or should I say all of my friends in comparison to the world are comfortable. Some have more and some have less, but we all live a comfortable life and have more than we need. We’ve worked hard and are now reaping the fruits of our labor. Retirement brings with it a sense of security. But I’ve begun to think about what happens when you have more than you need. It is breeding ground for waste. If water is abundant showers are long, lawns are green and swimming pools are full. Prosperity is good. But waste is foolish. “Waste not want not”, was my mother’s motto.
If I buy a pair of shoes (that I don’t need) am I putting people to work and supporting the economy, or am I foolishly wasting my money. Would it be better to just give the money away? In India I learned that to give something for nothing takes away a person purpose and dignity. Everyone should contribute to the betterment of life. I saw healthy people begging. I saw a woman with no arms selling her painting that she did with her feet. Who should I support?
I pay very high taxes without a grudge. I live well and have no problem sharing my wealth with those less fortunate. My tax dollars I hope go to feed, clothe and provide healthcare for the poor. I just hope my efforts are not being wasted by wasteful spending on things we don’t need at the expense of what we do need. With age comes certain pensiveness for things such as waste. They say so much is wasted when young. I would agree. It’s nice to finally have the time and the money to stop wasting time on the things I can’t change, focus on the things I can change, and to finally know the difference.