Monday, January 26, 2009

less is more

I have been trying to teach Claire about religions of the world through the years.  She has learned about every religion and how they work, what they worship, and etc.  Whenever someone asks her what her religion is, it has varied between the lessons of the years.  Recently she wanted to go back to learning about being Buddhist.  She had learned about it back when she was in 2nd grade.  The other day i was showing her a website (Buddha net) about some Buddhist teachings.  After reading it, she came to me in an understanding of what i had been telling her for days... "we don't "own" anything in our life... it belongs to the Earth in the end..." I had been trying to get her to donate her toys that are never played with to charity or friends or even goodwill.  She was having a hard time giving up anything.  No matter what i pointed at her answer was, "no, i need that."  I kept saying, "need or want?"  She wasn't sure how to answer that question, but would always say, "i think i need it" to which i always would give a laugh and a look to her.  But after i saw all of this lesson sink in to her, i went and read what i had already read years before, and i also came to realize that i too was trying to pack up and keep far more than i actually needed.

I have been going through every drawer, every cabinet and every shelf.  It is amazing the JUNK we keep.  I found knobs to dressers we no longer own,  but for some reason i kept the old knobs in a drawer.  I have found letters from friends that i have not heard from in several years,  and i have no reason to keep such a communication, but for some reason i felt the need to originally keep it.  There is so much stuff that is not needed!

Need.  It is a funny word.  We need food, but do we need the name brand expensive food?  We need clothes, but do we need a lot of clothes in our closet that we know we will never again wear because we forget that it is even there and when it comes time to need a certain shirt, we forget we have what we have and we buy something new anyway.   So do we need expensive clothes that will be forgotten about?  Do we need a closet (or two closets) full of clothes or just the basic clothing items of need?  We need certain things, a roof over our head, heat in the winter, food on the table, clothes on the body, and clean water.  There are i'm sure other needs, but those are the ones that come to my mind at the moment.  So as i sit here going through my many things, i have to make a choice; do i NEED that item to survive and to move out to California... or do i simply WANT the item.

Today i plan to go through the things i had already gone through with fresh eyes and see exactly what i NEED to keep and donate the things that i only want for one reason or another.

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