Living Mindfully (versus Monastically)

So, three weeks or so ago, I read the book “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” and felt compelled to reduce my own major area of excess, my closet, by around 25%. I ended up giving away 58 items of clothes and shoes, which was an awesome start.

I was explaining all this to someone I work with and I realized that it sounded a little crazy and extreme–so I’m going to explain my motives a little more. This isn’t about punishing myself for the privilege that I have received by living in a first world country. I mean, since the experiment last month, I’ve purchased three more pairs of shoes (which I needed for work, as I got a full time job in the time in between.)

I’m not trying to live monastically, but mindfully.

Mindful of the true cost of that cheap item I’m buying–of the child labor, the trafficking, the injustice that just isn’t worth the money.  Mindful of the fact I don’t need most of the things I buy. Mindful of the responsibility that I have as someone whose voice has not been silenced by oppression or because of desperation.

I can speak with my money and my purchases.

That’s a great thing about money–you can use it to better your own life, sure, but when you have the ability to help others, wouldn’t you?

Check out Kiva, a non-profit loan organization that does SO much good around the world. For $25 (aka one shirt at Target), you can sponsor a loan to a budding entrepreneur around the world. You are empowering them and helping them create sustainability in their lives & communities. Plus, you get repaid, so it’s really the easiest way to help someone ever.

My words are nothing compared to all the injustice happening in the world. I just hope to be on the side of justice rather than convenience and ease.

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