We live in an incredible, breath-takingly beautiful world. I have always had a deep love and connection with Nature. As a child, my favorite "friend" was a 100 year old towering dogwood tree. Every night, I'd climb 20 feet up to watch the sunset explode in quiet brilliance over the city. I always knew that Nature needed care, but it wasn't until I had children of my own and began my journey in minimalism that I saw how much "care" our world needed.
We don't need to review the problems our culture has created for our world by it's intoxicated consumerism. There's plenty of data and photos of horrible abuse and neglect of both people and the environment due to "over consumption." We all understand the urgency, but as I meet people in my business and communities where I travel, I hear a hopelessness about making any significant change.
That hopelessness is what I want to speak to.
Perhaps we all understand the obstacles to living an intentional life in a culture and economy that is dead set against minimalism and sustainable practices. I believe that is the root of the hopelessness I often hear. However, I think the root goes even deeper as to why so many of us care so much about our environment and yet feel so completely frustrated.
I believe that we see in our selves that our own actions must change before we can see the larger, cultural changes happen. I have felt this conviction often. And change happens slowly. I often want our beautiful world repaired right now. I want exploited people healed right now and mindless consumerism to stop. Yet, I am realizing that it is the one small change in the home that "sticks" that's important. Perhaps, it's another small adjustment in the business that remains even during the busy season which equals real change. It just feels so small and seemingly insignificant.
I also think the hopelessness stems from our own choices in our chaotic schedules. The pace of life is simply too fast to connect us to environmental solutions. So much of our trash is generated from convenience due to the constraints of time. There is no judgment here, as though we have made great strides in our home and businesses, yet we still have trash that sneaks in!
What if we could slow down?
What if we could give away the items that are clogging up our homes, and our minds?
What if we could hit the reset button on our business pursuits and rethink cost-saving / environment-saving practices?
I believe asking these questions is an important first step in setting up the home and business for good stewardship of the environment.
Hence, what actions can we take today?
1) Let's begin by asking the right questions which will lead to correct actions. Is this the kind of home where we need to be at this season? Is this business the kind of legacy-building entity that I want to use to impact the world?
2) Change one small step in our household or business systems right now. Today, I am packing one more box to charity (I stopped counting at 560+ bags, boxes, and furniture to charity) and yes, random "stuff" still sneaks in and must go out.
3 )Find other environmentally-minded people and networks to build solutions and systems to keep the small changes compounding. Facebook and local groups offer tons of collaboration and resources.
Action is important, and so is understanding. Underneath all of the issues of minimalism and sustainability, I believe, is truly a heart issue.
Do we have faith and trust that God loves our world and will help us care for His masterpiece? And the answer is a resounding, yes! The heart of God is to treasure precious people AND his world that He delicately, loving made. I think many times we forget that home, business, people, and environmental concerns are always inextricably intertwined.
God knows that. We need to trust His compounding and powerful goodness.
We must begin anew each day to hear His heart of restoration and take one small step towards all the goodness He is bringing in our homes and our world.
Blessings for your journey,