“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma GandhiDetaching from personal belongings is not easy. For The last five months, I have been living on land, not on the sailboat on the water. This gave me an opportunity to get rid of some of the unused items in my condo. It might be because I am a Buddhist; the less I have, the freer I become (excluding money and friends, honestly), so that is what I practice.
This time, I sold some of the unused items on Craigslist and trashed some others. Selling on Craigslist was rewarding. I sold my car cover because I no longer own a car. The buyer was happy to get an excellent item at a good price. I also sold a metal-bedframe because I dumped a decades old bed mattress. In the future, I don’t plan to own a traditional bed mattress. A young lady was happy to buy my bedframe.Going through my closets and drawers, I discovered that I was once a spender and did not practice smart shopping. Admitting it, even these days, visiting some stores, I am learning that it takes discipline to buy only what I need, not what I want. Watching TV, browsing the internet, or talking to people, we are flooded with marketing advertisements. The items in the store look great, useful, and sometimes cheap. Do I really NEED those? Or, do I just WANT those?
During the last three years while sailing and visiting many remote islands, I noticed garbage is a huge issue on the islands. Usually, one side of the island (windward side) is packed with trash such as flip-flops, plastic water bottles, tires, and all sorts of other plastic debris. The other non-wind side (Leeward side) looks like picturesque paradise. We are all responsible for this. The more convenience we look for and the more items we buy, the more junk packages and garbage we end up generating. If we did not have huge empty land, where would we dump all of that packaging and garbage what would we do?
I sometimes think consuming less items is beautiful yet it is difficult to practice. I am not an environmentalist but I do worry about the future of our beautiful planet earth…