Back in 2002, our refrigerator died. No big deal, right? Just get a new one and have it delivered. Which we did. It happens that our house sits above street level. The only way to get the new fridge into the house was through the front door because the basement stairs lead up to the too-small kitchen door. The problem was that at that very same time, we had had our old cracked cement front porch and steps removed so it could be replaced. And the fellow who was going to build the new porch had another project that kept him from working on the porch for at least a month. So, for a month we had the refrigerator in our garage. If we needed something out of the fridge, we had to go down the stairs and into the garage to get it! It was good exercise, but even more, it was a good exercise in appreciating what we take for granted. We were so happy to finally have a refrigerator in the kitchen again! I don’t take it for granted any more.
I think about this experience a lot, especially when I turn on the water in the kitchen or bathroom. What would it be like to turn on the tap and nothing comes out? Oh sure, most of us have experienced that when we’ve had a plumbing repair, but that’s just short-term, maybe a few hours. But imagine you had to walk miles to get water, or had to buy every bit of your clean water. Wouldn’t water become more cherished and not taken for granted? Do we waste water just because we can, just because it’s there? Here is a link with tips on how to conserve water:
And how about electricity, especially for heat and cooking? Some countries only have power for a few hours a day. You might ask why it matters how much power you use – after all, you can afford to pay your bill, right? But it matters where your power comes from, how it is generated, particularly if it’s from coal. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/coalvswind/c02a.html#.VeD9ZPlViko
A good mindfulness exercise from time-to-time is to think about something you use/have all the time, then think how you would feel if all of a sudden it was no longer available. How would you feel when it was restored to you? Would its absence afford you the grace of appreciating it all the more?