Isn’t it amazing how what used to be luxuries have become necessities?Consider: cell phones, computers, TV, cars with minimal bells & whistles (my 16-year-old vehicle has a CD player, power windows, air conditioning, seat position memory, to name a few); microwave ovens, sewing machines with memory and scores of decorative stitches; leaf blowers, lawn mowers that cut, mulch, and bag; ready-cooked meals to store in the freezer (not cooked by me); “grocery” stores that sell everything, including clothes and furniture; ditto hardware and drug stores; catalogs to bring anything your little heart desires right to your door.
With all these possibilities, all these choices, vying for my attention, I find it hard to choose what is essential and what’s merely impulse buying.
So, I looked around my house and came up with a list of what I can’t live without. Some are really basic—they’ve been around our lives for centuries, so we take them for granted (printed books, language, music, tools; knowledge, creativity, caregiving). Others are personal to me. And if you’re anywhere near my age, you may remember a time (or perhaps in your grandparents’ time) when my list of essentials wasn’t common.
· Post-It Notes
· Paper and writing instruments
Other inventions and discoveries have become essential, for instance:
· Insulation in our homes
· Medical discoveries about our health
This topic tends to run away with me—the more I think about it, the more I realize how entrenched I am in the 20th and 21st centuries, and what a debt I owe to all who came before me for their contributions to life.
All I need to survive physically is air, food and water; heat in winter, shade in summer.
All I need to survive mentally is something to read and think about; someone to talk with about it.
All I need to survive spiritually is a faith community and the love that sustains us all.
Make yourself a list and see what’s absolutely essential to you. Don’t need to give up anything—just appreciate all you have and do and are.
Have a Joy-full day!