“Now we have found that we’re still alive after the end of the world on 21 December 2012, the New Year is just around the corner. I’d therefore like to offer a suggestion for your ‘new year’s resolution”. Why not resolve not to waste your thoughts, time and energy. At the very least, you could try not to be wasteful on a material level, like saving energy by switching off the lights. Or not wasting food. Americans in particular, waste so much food, which is both insane and completely immoral. By comparison, Monica Lewinsky and that cigar barely registers on the scale. America’s waste of food, clothes and gasoline, though, is not only 100% immoral, it also carries with it immediate global consequences for the entire population of world and our environment.
‘Not to waste’ is the key to being rich and successful. Yet the Chinese have started learning the American art of conspicuous waste, imagining it to be a sign of great affluence and wealth. But when someone shits in their pants, it’s not something you should emulate. At this point, I should remind myself, and you, that although I’m using America as an example, this habit of profligate waste is now a global phenomenon, no longer confined to America and the Americans.
I have been told that the English queen uses the backs of old envelopes to write lists and notes on, a habit she picked up in the second World War that she has continued to practise until this day. We should all do such things.
Look around you, how much stuff do you have in your room? How much of it do your really need and how much is just waste? Of course, I’m not suggesting we should practise severe asceticism, I’m just pointing out a smart a way of making it possible for each and every one of us to live more affluently. Being wasteful is certainly not the way to enjoy your wealth.
I think I’m also haunted by something my mother always used to tell me when I was young and didn’t finish my meals. She’d say that if I didn’t eat every last morsel, the wealth god Dzambhala would get angry and punish me for being wasteful by causing me to starve. Such ancient, and these days rather old-fashioned advice actually contains a lot of wisdom.
Every day, you keep so many lights on unnecessarily. Do you really need to leave the shower running when you are shampooing your hair?
At the moment, the world is going through the agonies of dealing with very expensive gasoline, and the knock-on effects that, for example, push up the price of air fares and bus fares and make all the necessities, particularly food, so much more expensive. But water is even more precious than gasoline, and if what’s happening to gasoline now were to happen to water, our sufferings would reach much higher level of agony. Yet the root of the problem is caused by simple things that we could do something about, but don’t.
We also waste so much when we fall victim to products that are created solely to be wasted, then replaced many times over. The only aim behind marketing such products is to make obscene amounts of money, so the companies selling us this stuff actively encourage us to make a habit of being more and more wasteful, so they can sell us more and more useless stuff.
Anyway, this is just my New Year’s blabbering…”