In the UK we customarily eat when we are hungry, especially where there is temptation and food / snacks / drinks are readily available. It is probable that at most of these times we are not actually hungry, that it is purely habit and a kind of addiction. When we want something in life generally we are able to buy it, despite the likelihood that we do not actually need it.
As a parent I have a responsibility to consider what I do and the choices that I make. Children learn from parents how to behave on our planet, and what reasonable expectations they should have for their every whim and wish to be met.
Citizens of the world are hearing of people in Afghanistan who in recent years have been given the hope of rights, freedom and security. They now live in fear of the knock at their door which may lead to execution as a direct result of these freedoms, which they have dared to exercise in collaboration with the occupying forces. I wonder how I can dare to believe that every luxury that I desire (and somehow feel I deserve as reward for the hardships I face, for goodness sake) should be satisfied?
So today I eat my simple breakfast muesli, eat fruit, homemade soup and hopefully a homemade dinner with wholefoods & vegetables. I will try to do without packaged, unnecessary snacks or drinks. I will try to wean myself off caffeine again and even try to drink only (clean) tap water, which in itself would be a luxury to the majority of people on earth. I could be labelled an extremist, but for most of the world these simple things would be an extreme luxury, so why should this be?
There are numerous campaigns where people commit to following this way of living, to “do without”, but closer to home our Quaker testimonies and ideals point to these very things, such as with the final two Advices & Queries:
41. Try to live simply. A simple lifestyle freely chosen is a source of strength. Do not be persuaded into buying what you do not need or cannot afford. Do you keep yourself informed about the effects your style of living is having on the global economy and environment?
42. We do not own the world, and its riches are not ours to dispose of at will. Show a loving consideration for all creatures, and seek to maintain the beauty and variety of the world. Work to ensure that our increasing power over nature is used responsibly, with reverence for life. Rejoice in the splendour of God’s continuing creation.
Let all of our actions speak, and be proportionate and considerate of people, creatures and plants around the world. And let us be grateful for those simple things which would be such a luxury to most.