So often, we do not know where our food, our clothes, or anything else that we buy comes from. We live in a world of consumerism where people are pushed to buy more and more. One of the Dailai Lama quotes perfectly describes the world we currently live in.
“We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but we have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbour.
We built more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies than ever,
but have less communication;
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods
but slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It’s a time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.”
H.H The XIVth Dalai Lama
What can we learn from this experience? What can we bring back from Auroville? How can we live better in a city of concrete, apartment buildings, pollution, cars and never-ending consumption?
There are practical ways to start. How can we eat better? How can we buy better? We need to get into the space of ‘unconscious right’ that Ribou spoke about at Wasteless. Let’s make our carbon footprints as small as possible. Let’s support the green markets. Let’s use cloth bags instead of plastic; let’s reduce the amount of plastic we use. Let’s buy in thrift shops and exchange clothing online. Let’s use our clothes washers and especially our driers less often. Let’s use washable pads or diva cups. Let’s buy cosmetics and creams made from natural products and that have not been tested on animals. Let’s read the labels and let’s do the research: let’s ask ourselves a million questions about how we live and what we consume. Our future depends on it.