Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

I've decided that my least favorite human trait is wastefulness. That's right, I find it more reprehensible than lying and stealing.

Lying and stealing seem to be generally motivated by some self-serving plan geared toward personal gain.  At least that shows an engaged mind and a sense of purpose.  Wasting shows me that you are blind to the disproportionate scattering of wealth and resources in the world, and oblivious to the good fortune of plentifulness.

I have learned to tolerate thieves and liars because most fall into one of two categories.  They are either desperate, in which case I have no right to judge them from my relatively privileged lot in life, or they are still on the path to learning that lying and stealing do not bring happiness.  This is a path we all travel, as we are not born with an understanding of the consequences wrought by dishonesty within a cooperative social structure.  Most of us travel this path as children, some as young adults, but for the most part, we all arrive at the final destination eventually.

That vast majority of people I know, me included, are wasteful to a shameful degree.  Our cars burn too much fuel and we drive them too much.  We throw away food that is not prepared to our liking, replace perfectly functional clothing as style preferences shift.  We manipulate the climates within our homes and work settings to maintain a ridiculously narrow range of comfortable temperature and humidity levels.  For some of us, the amount of clean water that runs down our drains and toilets on a given day is nothing short of criminal. 

I'm not casting stones here.  As I've been known to say, "we most easily see the flaws in others that we have already recognized in ourselves".  I am wasteful too.  But I am aware of it; I don't like it; and I am actively moving in the right direction.  Are you?


  1. Jeff Ryer5/01/2011

    I think you have opened a can of worms with this topic. Is going on a Sunday drive wasting gas ?
    Are wants vs needs to come in to your equation ?
    Should people build 10,000 or even 5,000 Square Foot homes ? Surely nobody really needs a 5,000 SF home. But what about all the jobs that are generated when people build those houses. What the jibs created to take care of those house and the landscaping crews. Ahh landscapers, money wasted and the gas they use driving those trucks and trailers all around cutting peoples lawns. Why can't everyone just do their own landscaping. Vacations are a waste. What nerve of me to take my family on a plane and waste all that jet fuel. Flying people to Florida for vacation. Needless, except for the jobs that tourism creates. Where do we draw the line ? FYI - I drive a hybrid car, and we do not have air conditioning, no maid - because I do not want a person driving to my house and wasting gas (contrary to the popular belief that I am being cheap), and no landscaper (that's why we have children)

  2. Very mindful post, I like thats its more directed at being aware and not at being obsessive.