Waste Not, Want Not – Celebrating Earth Day
‘Waste not, want not’ is a well-known English expression; yet how conscious are we of the amount of waste we generate throughout the day, every day? Waste is not only that which shows up in our rubbish bins at the end of the day. There are other, more subtle forms of waste that deplete us of our soul energy, and then we wonder where we went wrong! Let’s explore some of the ways in which we waste our personal assets and resources and how we can maximize them to our advantage (or – you could call it ‘creating better karma’)!
Firstly, ‘waste’ is a relative term and we explained it thoroughly in another It’s Time Article – ‘Enough’. What might be waste to one person may be a necessity to another. So we should not stand and judge whether someone is wasting something or not. First Rule of Thumb – look at thyself first!
Secondly, as we waste our resources that are entrusted to, or bestowed upon us, we are creating subtle negative karmic accounts. Our time is a resource, our wealth, the people around us, Mother Nature… So, if I waste my time, for example, then that moment is lost forever, and perhaps too, an opportunity that may not come again. If I waste my money, then money won’t come to me when I really need it.
The law of karma states that what I give out, I get back – both positive and negative. The same law applies here: If I do not use time, thoughts, or things in a worthwhile way, then they won’t be there for me when I need them. Here are just some of the things that we waste on a daily basis, without realizing the consequences:
How many thoughts do we create throughout the day? Time magazine stated once that it is something like 60,000. Yet how many of them are useful and necessary? If I am creating thoughts that are ‘extra’, or on top of a decision already taken, then they would fall into the category of waste.
If there are repetitive thoughts, or thoughts of worry or doubt, these are not helpful and drain the mind of its energy. In that moment, I am misusing my mind, which creates heaviness, sadness, moodiness or headaches. I now have a mind that is uncooperative, very much like an upset child, who is obstinate and unwilling to behave the way I want it to. Through meditation we learn to become the masters of our minds, and this is why a yogi is blessed with happiness – they do not allow themselves to be taken hostage by an excess of negative or waste thoughts.
With the advent of mobile phones, facebook, Twitter and Skype, we have more opportunities than ever to ‘chat’. Despite our over-busy lives, talking is something that most of us still find plenty of time to do. Yet how many of our words are really meaningful, useful and worthwhile? Do we use a dozen words when two will do, or repeat the same stories ten times over? Worse still, is some of our time spent talking about others in a less-than-complimentary way? Beware! Your words will come back to you!
Even silence can speak volumes! Taking time to consider and choose your words means that the words you do speak are much more likely to be listened to!
If that is not enough to convince you, remember that only 7% of our communication is through words, our body language actually speaks much louder!
Money is something that most people complain they don’t have enough of, however if the same people were asked to keep an account of their outgoings for a month, they may well see that a lot of expenditure is unnecessary. Do we always have to have the latest phone or designer watch, rendering the previous ones useless in an instant? Of course we are free to use our hard-earned cash as we wish, but be careful not to fill a huge karmic wastebasket along the way! Unbridled spending, you may have noticed, brings sorrow, not happiness. However hoarding it selfishly is not healthy either. Learn to discern the ‘needs’ from the ‘wants’, use your money for good reasons and good causes, be generous to others, spend it wisely, and you will find it comes back to you.
Sometimes, we take relationships for granted; not valuing the other persons time, their intelligence, kindness or presence. Everyone has a gift to offer to the world, if I can’t see it, then that is my mistake.
Relationships are an investment – what you put in, you get out. If you are taken advantage of, perhaps you have taken advantage of another? If you are blessed and cared for, it must be that you have sent that energy out before which is why it is rippling back. So often, when a loved one dies, the bereaved is wracked with guilt or sorrow because they didn’t express their feelings when that person was still alive. The lesson is clear – don’t wait to tell someone how much you appreciate them!
We know the earth has been plundered almost to a point of no return. We can do our best to reduce, recycle and reuse, but is that enough?
Actually, if we respect Mother Nature, she will respect us. The more we help in sustaining the planet, the more the planet will find ways to help us. It will take a huge collective effort to save the world, but individually our contribution does make a difference on many levels. If I squander resources, karma says that they won’t be there for me at a time of need. If I look after them as a trustee, a guardian, then I am creating a relationship of harmony with the elements.
It’s Time… to use your treasures of time, energy, relationships and resources in a worthwhile way. The two keywords are appreciation and respect. Appreciate what you have and make the most of it; respect what has been given to you and it will serve you well! Then you’ll notice how rarely you have to empty the trash bin.
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK