Does wasting what we have cause us to desire more? I explore that idea in this post. You can read my thoughts and conclusions and feel free to add your own comments!
We’ve all heard the old proverb, “waste not, want not”. The interpretation is generally thought to mean-
“If you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need.”
I’m not sure we can say never; as I’m sure there have been people who don’t waste what they have, yet end up going without.
What about those who DO waste what they have? Does wastefulness create a desire for even more?
This has been on my mind lately as I have been going through our belongings again, getting rid of unused condiments in the fridge, lotions and face crèmes, dry food items bought months ago that haven’t been used and more.
It really hit home today as I cleaned out lots of produce (that used to be fresh) from our fridge. Unused. Wilted. Moldy. Wasted. It seemed like a selfish extravagance, to buy food and then just throw it away.
It’s not just extravagance with food that bothered me. As I mulled over this, I realized it is selfish to have clothes that we aren’t wearing, tools that aren’t used, and a growing garden that isn’t harvested. There are so many areas of life where we can find waste, and with that waste, selfishness.
When we waste what we have by not using it, whether it is perishable or non-perishable, we create an inner desire for more. It may be that we desire more food to replace what we threw away, or new clothing that we think we will actually wear, it doesn’t matter the item, wastefulness creates want.
Speaking from personal experience, these are some of the items that generate more desire in me when I waste them-
-Food. When I throw away food, I naturally want to go buy more to fill the emptiness, determined I WILL eat the whole container of spinach this time!
-Clothing. When I end up with unused clothes in my closet, I feel the desire increase what I have to take the place of what I am not wearing.
-Toiletries. Whether I don’t like the smell of the deodorant, the lotion feels too thick, or whatever the reason, I tend to purchase new products and let the old ones sit until I have to toss them, instead of using them up first.
-Office supplies. I am a sucker for pens and clips. Especially new fangled looking ones that must be better than what I currently have. Sometimes, my pens dry out while I am busy buying new ones to try out.
Each of us most likely have our own areas where we are wasteful. If you don’t, you’re my new hero. For the majority of us, there is room for improvement, so let’s not waste anymore time and start using what we have so we don’t want more!