Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Use

It is truly strange how much joy I extract from finishing off leftovers from my 'fridge.

It's not the act of eating them that gives me pleasure - it is the thought that I'm not generating much waste. I've always been a fan of living economically. Even though I haven't been aware of it, I've been doing so for years. I camp, hostel and hike and try to leave no trace of my visit. I like to make my bed every morning. I like to do any dishes in the kitchen before I toddle off to bed. I recycle when possible. I won't leave the toilet paper roll empty - I'll replace it with a fresh one and leave the old roll (with the few last sheets) on top of the new one. I encourage my daughters (much to their displeasure) to emulate these ideals. All of these little quirks are tied together by the concept of not taking more than what is needed and leaving the rest for others.

Economical with time, effort, money. Economical is different from being a cheapskate, of which my daughters jokingly accuse me. I have no problem spending money, as evidenced by my lifestyle and general lack of much extra cash lying around. I have a problem with the money being squandered. There has to be some lasting value or impact to having spent it.

I also don't want to take more than I need. This seems to be a big problem with Western society in general. When I see or deal with a person who feels entitled to something and insists on taking an amount conspicuously beyond their needs, they usually don't get a favorable review in my books.

So, when I finished off the last little bit of the butter chicken and the last bit of pork chops and mashed potatoes, I had a satisfied smile that didn't come from having a full tummy.

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