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Let's Rethink Stuff!

I like to think of my self as “green” and care about the environment, but I was really taken aback when my daughter Michelle said that I like stuff and that my generation is really into stuff.   I realize that I do like “stuff” but at the same time I am pretty appalled by it. 

I am from an island called Lussin (Veli Losinj) in current-day Croatia, I was born in 1955 and it still had the World War II effect and we lived pretty simply.  Electricity, but no indoor plumbing.  I knew where the food came from… from the ground, the fish from the sea, and the meat from the animals I saw roaming around… such as the lamb that grazed the olive grove.  When I had a tummy ache my nonna would make me chamomile tea.

So, moving to the US at age 8 things did not seem natural. We lived in Astoria, NY and the cement on the ground was very disturbing, the subway was pretty amazing but dirty, life in NY was not pretty.   It was very disturbing.  I would think why so much garbage, dirt.  Dirt in Lussin  smelled sweet, it actually energized me. In Lussin at that time we did not have garbage pickup, but we didn’t have litter all over like  Astoria did. Why??  How confusing to a little child. We were in America!! Before coming to the US we lived in a refugee camp and all the pain was worth it because we were going to America. What a disappointment to land at JFK and see the dirty snow and be taken to a basement apartment my aunt lived in.

Anyway, I assimilated to the American life style:  working and working and why do we work?? Not only for the basics of food and shelter but to buy STUFF!!  That’s the goal, right?  Buying stuff grows the economy. Well, I caught the disease.  I don’t go crazy buy stuff but I really enjoy buying stuff. Stuff can be nice but I always said that when I am sad that stuff doesn’t talk back stuff to me and comfort me. 

Yes, I caught the disease. But where does the stuff go when I no longer want or get bored or goes out of style?  Another very disturbing thing for me!  Landfill.  But does that stop me from shopping?  I recently watched The Story of Stuff, which made me think.  

I am 56 and have 3 amazing grandbabies.  I will stop now.  I want them to living in a different  world. A clean world.  This can happen really but we need to change our ways.  We can live in a world that values the planet (it’s an amazing planet, look around you, the sky, trees, birds, flowers) and us, people.  The beauty of us human beings.  We are all so different, let us all appreciate each other’s differences, we can learn and love each other.  Let’s create by putting our energy in communicating, sharing our thoughts, our pain and our joys and this can really bring  new ideas… Let’s appreciate the arts, create music and beauty by uniting with family, friends, co-workers and people we meet at the supermarkets…

Forever I’ve been saying I want to have a monthly open house and invite our friends, but because we work long hours and on weekend we are trying to catch up on house work and “errands” = “shopping”.

It is time for me to change and go back to my roots of living a clean life by de- cluttering my surroundings.  I believe this will leave me with more time to think clearly and move forward to be more care to myself, my family and the people around me.  

I am committed to stop getting more stuff and gather with the wonderful people that I have around me.

I would like to continue sharing my thoughts on K4G and I would also appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts on how we can all make this plant a better place to live.