"Over the years, I've lived in small places where stores offered
very few options. When I ran out of shampoo in Peru, for example, I
bought the only kind sold in the village shop. When I returned to
Canada, I felt completely overwhelmed the moment I walked into a
store. So many things to choose from. And so few I really needed..."
Not long ago a song informed us "I'm living in a material world
and I am a material girl." Our kids are bombarded by the message that
this is not only a necessary, but admirable state of affairs, even as
we gobble up resources, some nonrenewable, widen the gap between rich
and poor, drive species into extinction, and change the climate. Only
with the right brands and constantly changing styles of clothes, the
must have acoutrements, and, of course, the most technically advanced
smart phones can they be happy, well liked, and successful. How do we
counter those pervasive messages?
Michelle Mulder's Pocket Change: Pitching In For A Better World
is a very valuable resource for curbing the materialism today's
society works overtime to instill in our children and us. Mulder has
the courage to ask questions many consider heresy:
*Do we need so many varieties?
*Do we need so much stuff?
*What would our world look like if we spent a lot less and valued
people and community more than things?
Her message is upbeat, her book an invitation to take a voyage of
"Lately, I've been reading about creative ways that people can
meet their needs without buying much at all. It's all about
community...And strong communities aren't just fun to live in.
They're good for the environment and can reduce poverty too. How?
Grab a friend and a snack to share, come along and find out!"
Pocket Change, however, is not just a book to read and set
aside. It is full of inspiring projects youngsters, families,
religious organizations, and other groups can tackle such as:
*library based repairs cafes where people with expertise can help
others mend and fix still useful belongings;
*Habitat For Humanity summer programs;
*Community gardens and gleaning;
*Libraries for stuff like tools and toys;
So whatcha waiting on? Whether or not you have children,
there's so much we all can do to make this less of a material world.
Maybe you can start by making sure your public library acquires Pocket
Change and displays it prominently.
On a personal note, my carry along cross stitch project is rather
ambitious. I have a book of patterns for 83 miniature pieces with
inspirational sayings. I'm going straight through from 1 to 83. They
will be perfect for my grad assistant office in the fall if I get
accepted to grad school. Right now I'm stitching a picture of three
birds that says, "Friebdship is the essence of a happy life."
A great big shout out goes out to my grad school friends who I hope to
be joining in September.
Sent from my iPod