Owning a lot of stuff can give you a temporary feeling of being happy. But when you start to collect a lot of belongings, the burden can feel overwhelming, says a person who moved three times during the Pandemic :). And, the more we own, the more we demand of the earth to support us.
In Braiding Sweetgrass, author Robin Wall Kimmerer muses on ways in which our relationship with the earth is reflected in our relationships with others. Being caring and conscientious with our natural environment gives us a feeling of belonging to the earth. She gives beautiful examples of how we have co-evolved with the earth – where we need the earth and the earth needs us.
In much of the work I do around Organizational Habits, the number one issue most folks mention is clutter. So what if we shared more and purchased less? When we share rather than own, our imprint on the earth is smaller. And we form bonds with a group of like-minded individuals. Apps like “Next Door” and Facebook groups like “Own Nothing” are cool technical ways to share, to own less, and to add to a feeling of belonging to a local community. And – bonus! You also have less clutter.
Kimmerer posits that in today’s more affluent societies, we care more for our belongings than we do for belonging to a family, a group, or to a greater society. As we become more aware of the earth life forces around us, do we naturally become more caring and conscientious of each other?
Just because two words look alike doesn’t mean there’s a connection, but in this case… Please ponder :).
And, by the way, I highly recommend Braiding Sweetgrass. It is a book rich with science and heart, and with Native-American wisdom that has been missing from our national dialog for a long time.
Want to see other posts on this blog? There’s a small link below to the left that will take you to the most recent post. Or check out the column on the right to see what other folks are reading. Please use the “search” box at the top of the page if you’re looking for something specific.
If you’re reading this on your phone, all of that is below.
I welcome your thoughts and ideas for future posts!