Sure I donated money to the Salvo's, bought raffle tickets for various charity groups, attended grand charity balls, (you know the kind, organise a table of friends, go shopping for a new dress, bag and shoes to match, get your hair done professionally, we all book a room in the city for the night and make a huge weekend of it) gave blood, raised money for my World Vision 40 Hour Famine each year, knitted scarves for those less fortunate.
Now I am older and possibly a little wiser (!), I look back to my 'youth' and think how blind I was to all that surrounded me. My parents brought us all up to be responsible adults, to think for ourselves, to respect others no matter how they look or where they come from, no matter how much is in their bank account, or if they even have a bank account. To not judge others by the way they dress, or speak, and to help those that need our help. To think of those less fortunate than we are, to not waste food, to respect our belongings and those of others.
I would like to say thank you to my wonderful parents, you see, I am now 40 years old, and finally their messages through my life are being lived, I have made many mistakes and I have much learning ahead of me, each day is a new day, a new lesson to learn in everything I do, but the lessons are there, in my mind, I have that knowledge, I have that power to make things happen for the good.
Since having babies of my own, I am very aware of the future for my children, I want to make the world a better place, I know I am only 1 small human in the world, but I know that with my contribution to the future, then my children will have a chance at having a wonderful adult life to pass onto their own children, and hopefully when they are 40, they can realise that the messages we give to them now, will help them make the world a better place for their own families. Being 1 person, I can teach 2 children, then when they have children. . . . just like the pebble that skims the water and the ripples that spread from that one tiny action.
There has been much going through my very small head this weekend, quite a few things that happened last week have kept my little brain churning. I will try to not bore you with too much detail, however, . . . . . After having a meeting in regards to one of my children and their 'development' last week, I made a comment towards the end of our meeting that 'I felt less is more'. I was totally and absolutely supported by all sides and felt very much like the world had been lifted from my skinny shoulders. There is so much pressure on teachers, schools, and worst of all, the children to 'perform'. To tick those boxes, become the perfect 'C' student (Here in Australia a 'C' student is a perfect student. Means they are meeting all criteria set for them that is required of their year.)
I had a wonderful conversation with a Grandfather through our parent helper reading groups. He is retired now, but started out as a primary school teacher, then moved on to be a high school teacher and then lecturer at University. He has also worked with students (adults included) that needed the extra help with their work. He totally agreed with me that 'less is more', and the increasing pressures that are placed on children at younger, and younger ages.
One thing I got told by 3 total strangers last week and another couple we met over the weekend, was we should be very proud of our children, they are an absolute credit to us both as parents. The couple on the weekend I met at a party and they said our children were so happy and such good kids and they were pleased to hear 'please' and 'thank you' from them. To have those you know and love say it to you is equally important, they are part of your life, your days, your family, they are part of the community that your children belong, but to have total strangers say it to you, for no gain at all for themselves for saying it, makes me sort of blush. The most popular follow from their comment was, 'it's hard work bringing up a family, you never stop.' Too darn right, as a parent, it's 24/7, but we wouldn't change it for the world. My kids are my best lesson in life, they are the air that I breathe, they are the reason my heart is beating. I would do anything in my power to give them the absolute best of the best of the best to ensure they are cared for in every way. It's the scariest darn job in the world, you only get one crack at it, you gotta get it right.
Anyways, getting off track here, back to my 'less is more' theme, and giving my children the best of the best of the best, I want to make a difference for my family, I want to make a difference for the future. I want there to BE a future. In small steps, I am going to improve our standard of living.
When I put our bins out to be collected last week, I noticed that our 'landfill' bin was quite empty. I had honestly never thought about our bins, other than the days they go on the curb to be collected. Our greenwaste bin was, I guess, average, and our recycling bin was quite full.
I am going to concentrate on our landfill bin for now, I want to reduce it even more than I had last week. Less packaging, less crap. When I shop this week, instead of just looking at where the item is made and thinking of travel miles, labor, etc and looking at the preservatives and numbers in brackets, I am also going to look at the packaging that the item comes in. I know, that is going to make my grocery shop even longer, but I need to be 1 person that starts to make a difference. I know you are out there with me, you are nodding your heads, I am sure many of you have written about same. I want to join you, I want to be with you and tell everyone what I know too.
If you have your own blog, or know of a blog that you love to visit that believes less really is more, then can you please let me know of them. I will check them out, and put them on my blog so that we can get that ripple going. It can be anything from homemade soaps, through to recycling, cooking, living. I want to know about it.
Thank you for logging onto my blog, thank you for your thoughts. I never really started my blog with the thought that I would have such a wonderful community of people to share with. It was more of an online journal for my creative bits, but now it's so much more. I have learnt so much, and still I strive to learn more.