Monday, June 30, 2008

Resourceful Lady

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the leadership qualities that we women can bring to our communities is resourcefulness.  

Certainly I'm not the only one talking about resourcefulness these days.  Being mindful of our resources is even trendy.  The culture is encouraging us to count our carbon footprint, to take short showers, to drive fuel efficient cars.  Of course, beyond its recent popularity, resourcefulness just makes sense.  There is a reason for the timeless adage, "waste not, want not."  In our age of plenty, we are quickly learning that some things can run out.  

I think that women have a special aptitude for resourcefulness.  I can remember working for an employer who grew up in the Depression era.  She knew how to stretch every last ingredient in her kitchen, and how to reuse items in new ways.  Her practices were both creative and practical.  

I remember feeling a little embarrassed sometimes when comparing myself to her.  I was always quick to buy something new, even when I didn't need it.  Even today I find things in my closets that I have forgotten about.  Perfectly good things that I should be using.  But don't.  

Still, I know that I have the potential to be as mindful as my former employer with a little practice and some discipline.  And it would be worth the trouble.  Not just for me, but for others, too.  Resourcefulness as an intentional lifestyle can strengthen communities.  When we take a step back from the onslaught of commercialism in our lives and maximize what we already have, good things happen.  Like getting out of debt, saving more, and working less.  Furthermore, resources we aren't monopolizing can be shared with and used by others.  

Will resourceful living cures all that ails us as a society?  No, of course not.  But the practice of utilizing and being thankful for what we own, and being thoughtful about what we acquire, can certainly help.  

Please send me your resourceful tips by posting comments or emailing me!  How do you keep from wasting things?  What successes have you had at using what you own.  What creative ideas do you have for repurposing items?  Please share!

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