February 3, 2017

How Having Less Helps Me Give More

There are many reasons to own less. What I’ve found is that the less time I spend focused on things, the more that I can give.

I can give more thoughts to other people in my life. I am more considerate of their wellbeing, their emotions, and their needs. I try to improve my relationships rather than my collection of games, music, or clothing.

I can give more to people whose lives I may never encounter. With less of my income going toward purchases and subscriptions, there’s more opened up for donations. The less time I spend binge-watching videos or cleaning dishes, the more open my schedule is for volunteering and being civically engaged in my community.

I can give more to the planet. Fewer plants, animals, and landscapes are destroyed to maintain my way of life. I produce less waste. I do more to preserve the environment for future generations and whatever forms of life exist after we humans are gone. I open my heart to the many species that share the Earth with us now.

I can give more to myself. What truly makes me happy? What helps me relax? What are my values? How do I want to be remembered after I’m gone? Buying and owning more things, I’ve found out, isn’t the answer to any of these questions.

Some of this giving I’ve already made room for. Others are future goals. All are a work in progress. Every day has become part of an ongoing effort to own less and give more.

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