In yesterday’s post, I
preached wrote about the environmental impact that leading a materialistic lifestyle creates. As someone who does her best to promote eco-friendliness, the impact my purchases have on the planet is on the forefront of my consciousness. I made mention of this yesterday, but another reason I try to live simply is so I can give more of my money, time and energy to others. I’m not going for sainthood or anything, it’s just that I know how big of an impact little things make.
Last Sunday was my birthday and my (adorable) boyfriend brought me a dozen red roses. They are breathtakingly beautiful and I appreciate his gesture to infinity and beyond. Something simple, like a bouquet of flowers, makes me so incredibly happy and when I can invoke that happiness in someone else, it makes me feel even better.
I’m a teenager. My lifeguarding job doesn’t even pay minimum wage — so I’m definitely not Mrs. Moneybags. If I’m preoccupied with keeping up with the latest styles and painting my face with expensive makeup, there’s no way I could manage to save for college and be able to share and give to other people. What I’ve noticed is that buying something new for myself that I don’t really need doesn’t have a lasting effect on my level of happiness. It’s more or less a “buzz” that dies after a while. But, when I take a bit of time to buy something sweet like flowers or a pretty mug — something that’s aesthetically pleasing or that has sentimental value — for someone else, (or even myself) I feel so good for so long. It’s kind of difficult at first, to justify giving so much to other people who aren’t really in need, but seeing people I love being perpetually happy because I’m paying them a visit or giving them something pretty has a lasting effect. I do it because I love them. I love a lot. “Love thy neighbor,” right?
It’s not even a matter of buying things. Mostly it’s sharing — sharing time, sharing experiences, or sharing things that make you happy.
This is me, being a goofball, fiddling around with my dad’s fancy DSLR while I sip afternoon tea from my favorite floral tea cup. One of my best friends gave it to me. It’s such delicate bone china, and the floral design is so quaint — I really just love it. It even reminds me of Audren Hepburn a little bit, and I love her.
One evening, my grandma was over and I prepared her some tea to accompany her cake, and I served her Early Grey (both of our favorite) in my favorite tea cup. She loved the tea cup as much as I did, and it made her so happy to be drinking soothing Earl Grey out of such a pretty piece of china. It may sound a bit silly to find so much joy in a cup of tea, but like I said, the little things count. Lesson learned? Sharing items that are special with a loved one is satisfying to all parties involved.
Try it, you’ll like it.