Yesterday I needed a break from my boys (yes, it happens once in awhile!), so while Joel was in charge of things on the homefront, I got to do whatever I wanted. Wanting to do something I haven't done in awhile, I decided to go shopping at the nearby Heartland Town Centre where you can find just about any store you want. I hadn't been since sometime before the boys were born. I started walking from store to store, browsing the aisles of clothes, shoes and fashion accessories. But while I was enjoying the time outside of my home, I quickly became uncomfortable. I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind of life I want to live, the kind of life we want to live as a family. Simplicity is a big part of that. It's something I'm not good at. I fail all the time, but I really want to practice going against the cultural norm of accumulating more "stuff". I started to see slogans like "must haves for the fall", "because you deserve it" etc. Such lies.
How in the world, with a closet and drawers FULL of clothes, did I end up looking for more? Why has shopping become a hobby, something to do just for fun, not because we need something... and I use the word "need" very loosely as few things are necessities. I don't need any more stuff. Really, I don't. I don't need that shirt just because it's on sale (my weakness) or because I don't have one in that exact colour. I don't need those boots because they are the latest trend. And yet, I came home with a new shirt. It wasn't expensive but I don't need it. The excuse in my head was that the store supports the company Joel works for. Pathetic, I know. The truth is, it was $16 I could have given away to help someone in need. If a hungry child was put in front of me as well as the shirt I would have chosen to feed the child. I don't think it's wrong to have nice things, but if I do, I want to make sure I'm giving a heck of a lot of money away. We are wealthy. No, not middle class. Wealthy! The majority of people reading this are among the wealthiest in the world, having FAR more than most around the globe. But we feel entitled. I know I do. It's a constant struggle and the tension we live in. I'm trying to figure out how to do it well. How do I enjoy a nice dinner out with my husband, when they money we spend could probably feed hundreds? I think there's a way to do it, without feeling guilty about every dollar I spend, but also thinking beyond the norms of our culture and giving generously.
If you are someone who values simplicity and generosity, or at least wants to, what are some ways you're working towards it? Ideas always welcome! :)