Post of the Day
July 21, 1998

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Subject: Why do we do this?
Author: Feorlen

It's been very interesting to read these messages and see what other people have to say on the subject of everyday living. Sometimes we seem to get lost in the recipes and commuting tips and other seemingly trivial things, but stuff like this really adds up to an attitude, that even down to the basic level we control or lives and this is a good thing. After all, being a Fool is fundamentally managing your own money rather than the other way round, so one would like to think that the rest of our lives works the same way. (Well, mostly.)

  "I have always believed that there is nothing that should not be examined at some point to determine it's continued worthiness."

I have always believed that there is nothing that should not be examined at some point to determine it's continued worthiness. Is there is still something else I could look at? Perhaps I can simplify my life, or maybe looking at it will only re-enforce how important it is.

Some people think I'm rather extreme when I do things they may think are for cost savings, when really they are one resource (normally time) spent for something of value that many others spend money for instead, and often with far superior (in my opinion, anyway) results.

So I cook most of my meals at home. It sounds strange, but it appears to be an unusual thing for a young single person around here. Fewer people understand why I sew clothing, but most have never had the pleasure of a custom-designed garment that was made for them alone. Almost none would fathom why I'm at the moment running a trial load of laundry with handmade soap to determine if it works. (It does.) Its certainly not cheaper than the Bucket-O-Suds from the membership warehouse, but it just may be comparable to the no-dye, no-scent, no bleach, no petroleum products, no whiteners and brighteners stuff from the health food store or environmental catalog. And I'm the sort that would make soap anyway, because I enjoy it.

What has this got to do with being a Fool? Nothing. And everything. I may not always know what I want or where I'm going, but I am certain to question if it's where I want to be, a dangerous thing in this society where I'm supposed to buy what the marketers tell me I want and enjoy what they tell me is supposed to be fun.

I revolted a long time ago, and it's not been easy, but I had to decide that it was *my* life and I was going to live it the way I feel comfortable living. Folks like the people here remind me that there are others who are willing to rock the boat, even if just a little bit, and maybe stage a minor mutiny or two if that's what it takes to get control of one's life back. I may be weird, but at least I'm not alone.

"I don't do what I think is the Right Thing all the time, but when I don't, I know it and it's a decision I've made, not something that happened when I wasn't looking. "  

I don't know about the rest of you, but I do this because I must, and not in the "I can't afford it" sense of that statement. Perhaps I really believe that I have Free Will, or maybe I just have to convince myself of it by getting my way, all mine, and not what someone on the idiot box thinks. Every dollar I don't spend not only goes into saving for the future, it isn't wasted on something I didn't need, that created pollution to bring it to me, and was probably produced by some non-sustainable process either in materials, people or the environment.

So maybe my little personal crusade won't accomplish much. I have been told that many times by more people than I can count, friends and family among them. But it's *my* personal crusade, and I'll share it but I won't let anyone take it away from me without a fight. If I just get up and take the bus today, that's one fewer single-occupant-vehicle on the road, one fewer irritated commuter who gets pissed off in traffic, and a couple more cents in my pocket for later. It's a nice walk, too. And when I do drive, I'll do the speed limit, particularly through my neighborhood, and try to ignore the idiot tailgater who is honking and making rude gestures. And if I cook real food for dinner, there's that much less packaging to throw away from that frozen dinner or take-out container, and a little extra for when I really decide that today is Ben&Jerry's for Breakfast Day.

I don't do what I think is the Right Thing all the time, but when I don't, I know it and it's a decision I've made, not something that happened when I wasn't looking. I hope that I can at least manage that much.


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