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My Fair Share

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few weeks ago I got this comment on my blog:

 My dream is to live life as if there is rationing. I know that sounds weird, but that is my way of keeping in mind that the resources that are used for all the material things that are made are limited. — Athais

Rationing?  Really?  That sounds like such a negative word.

At the same time rationing is such a good word when it comes to looking at our resources.  I started thinking about this from the minimalist living position and I really like how it changes things.  If we look at the world and think about rationing what is our fair share?

If everything was laid out in a pile – resources, energy, material goods, water, even things like peace, safety, and health – what would be our fair share?

….I’ll tell you what…. a whole lot less than probably the ‘best’ minimalist uses.

So often with minimalism we think less, smaller, etc.  However when we think of our share of the resources in this world even as a minimalist we are using way more than our share.

I know many people are trying to live off the grid and get closer to their share.  I think that is great, but not accessible to everyone.  What I do like is how it turns the tables on our thinking.  Instead of having less we have more.  Instead of having smaller we have bigger.

When we think of being minimalists it is easy to think we are doing so much better on managing resources than others.  We can think what we do use is easily justifiable because it is so much less than we could be using.  But this isn’t the case.  Everything we use and enjoy is treasured resources.

I am not saying we should feel guilty about turning on a light or buying a piece of cloths.  I am just saying we need to make sure we appreciate fully everything we do have and treat it like the gift that it is.

We have more than enough.  Or in the words of Dave Ramsey ‘better than we deserve’.

Using little and being truly grateful for it is true riches.  Thanks for your comment Athais!

16 Comments

  1. Pam Pam

    I think PRESERVATION is a better word………………altho I understand “rationing” too.

    • It was just a different word that made me look at it differently 🙂 Preservation is good too!

  2. I think Gandhi is credited with saying, “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”

    It’s so easy to go overboard on spending, on consuming, on hoarding precious resources when we don’t see the immediate effect on affected areas. We must keep reminding each other that together, as we commit to living smaller, consuming smarter, owning less and being content with our current state!

    Thanks for this great post, Lorilee.

    • oh, great quote!

  3. Thanks for the good reminder, Lorilee! As part of my commitment to “thanksliving” I try to remind myself daily that everything is a gift. I truly own nothing but rather am entrusted to manage (or steward) well all that passes into and through my life. Another quote I find inspirational is “Live simply so that others may simply live.” This quote is attributed both to St. Elizabeth Seton and Gandhi. Regardless of who really said these words, they are good ones to remember and live into. Thanks for your good work, too!

    • Yes, I love that quote as well. Great to meet you 🙂

  4. I love this concept.

    It would lead to so much less waste & take away excess.

    And hopefully reduce society’s obsession with stuff.

    • yep 🙂

  5. I am a word person and at times I am surprised at my emotional response to a word. I do understand the concept that Athais was sharing and applaud the effort to think differently but I am uncomfortable with the word rationing. Historically it applies to one group or individual dictating to others how much of a scarce resource they may consume. I think conserving or just plan saying no to consuming for no other reason than enough is enough is an individual’s responsibility. To be individually healthy and to protect the health of our planet, each person must commit to living a life that is sustainable.

    • Christine, thanks for your comment. That is why the rationing seemed an interesting concept to me. That we would intentionally choose to limit ourselves because of our planet. It is kind of a self-control idea. I love the positive use of negative words 🙂

  6. I sometimes think about that rationing…especially when it comes to my grocery budget and what we actually end up eating. It is interesting to think about though. And I agree, I love to see the people that go off grid, and live with even less than I could think about. Minimalism, homesteading, self-sufficiency, subsistence living – it is all really interesting, and makes me wonder why we can’t live on so much less considering the majority of the world lives that way. I think for me guilt is a big factor in my thinking, is it really ok for me to have so much when others have so little? Shouldn’t I be ok with being a little more uncomfortable?

    • I agree. I don’t like the idea of guilt, but those are very real questions. Being aware of how little others have, doing what we can to help them, and truly appreciating how rich we really are is something I want my kids to understand. It is much easier to choose to use less when we see the world from this angle.

  7. I do like the word “rationed” in this context. Most people tend to live life as though it is infinite. They fill their time doing things that they don’t really like doing for poorly considered reasons. We have little time to do the things we want to do; we may as well make the most of it and I think with this in mind, we would.

    I agree we should be more appreciative of the little things. For so long I have drifted along with blinkers on, not appreciating a sunset or a weed for what it is. We ought to, I think.

    • yes, totally agree 🙂

  8. I love this post and I especially love that we have choice and not a mandate. I agree it is important to strive to live with less for me and my family, but love even more that we have the choice to do or not to do.

    • yes 🙂

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