When I lived in an intentional community we seldom bought things we didn’t have. Rather we were patient and trusted that what we need will come to us, even if it’s not what we want! For example, for many months we did not have toilet paper and many of the people that came were at a loss how to survive without it. When we suggested other possibilities they didn’t listen and went to the store as soon as possible to buy some. Not having toilet paper caused my own perspective to change. At first I felt the community wasn’t providing the basic necessities, and was taking it personally and being apologetic. With hindsight, I realize that this seemingly small and insignificant thing was a turning point for me and has inspired me to write various articles on this topic. I see today how many people in modern society are dependent on buying products produced by large corporations. We are so dependent upon buying things today, that we even have forgotten how to do what not so many years ago, we did ourselves. There is no doubt that the cumulative consumption of all these products is destroying the planet and along with it – us! When you look at only one item, such as toilet paper and the cumulative resources it takes to produce it, then it’s not hard to project and realize the magnitude of the problem when you look at all the consumer items we are buying today.
We CAN change the world simply by changing our actions. To start one only has to question ‘something’ one is buying, taking, eating or consuming, and then look for an alternative that uses less resources, is more healthy, is locally available or can just be dropped, etc. By taking on this process of questioning and making a *new* decision, you will MAKE a change to the world. This new action you make will have side-affects, causing a ripple and affecting that you are in contact with, causing further change. This happens because of the fact that we are all ONE whether we realize it or not… One doesn’t need a group or special setting to start this process, any person can decide right now to adopt this attitude and begin today. The good news is that you don’t need a teacher, it won’t cost anything to do it, you will spend less money, you will be healthier and the earth will be healthier. You’ll be more independent with each change you make and the world as a whole will be better off as well.
Isn’t changing our habits a small price to pay to reap such a large benefit?
I know how comfortable to our ‘known way’ we can be and how we are resistant to change. This goes across all levels, whether it’s our relationships, job, diet, living arrangement, material possessions, religious beliefs, politics, etc. So probably many people think that buying toilet paper is a small price to pay for such a luxury item. But do people really know how much it takes in resources to manufacture what consumers demand globally? This speaks also to the problem on a global scale, everybody knows about the problems but people are NOT changing their habits, and the environmental situation gets worse each passing day.
The truth is that we can’t wait any longer, we have to start somewhere and toilet paper is a good place to start, because there are many alternatives and making this change can give a daily reminder of one’s new adopted attitude to question everything… I have already adopted this attitude and am looking for alternative solutions to whatever it is that presents to me. When I make a change in a consumable, I will report about it, hoping that by doing this my words might inspire others and have more affect to change our world for the better.