My wife, Lana, shared with me a phrase she found interesting which read, “Less House More Home”. I could not keep from thinking about that phrase and what message the author wanted to send. I found the original intent of the phrase was to convey that one should not worry that your house may be messy or that you don't have the most up-to-date furniture. It was about spending quality time with one another — or even quality time with yourself in the comfort of your surroundings. The author’s message was that it is the little things that make your house a home.
However, the more I thought about that phrase the more I realized one could interpret a number of meanings from those four simple words.
My first thought was that today’s society has become so fixated on consumerism, making an impression on others, on self gratification and being entertained that we have lost sight of some basic values of home, family and quality of life. A lot of these behaviors come at the expense of our planet. There seems to be a sense that our resources are infinite and that eventually technology will solve any ills that humans may have caused. So, don’t worry, someone else will take care of it, I just want to focus on today and have fun and enjoy life. Yes, we should enjoy life, but we also have an obligation to do so in a responsible manner.
How many times does one hear we need to grow the economy and create jobs? Yes, this is important, but to a point. Think about it---continual growth unchecked means that at some point we will exhaust all the resources of this planet. Some scientists say that if the world consumed resources at the rate we do in the US, it would take the equivalent of 4 planets to support that level of consumerism. Scientists also predict that this planet’s resources can only sustain a world population of 10.5 billion people, which at the current rate of growth is predicted to be reached by 2050. Yikes, what happens after that? We hear that we have an enormous challenge to feed this growing population, yet in the US between 1992 and 2012 we lost 175 acres per hour of agricultural land to development – 3 acres per minute. According to University of Massachusetts Amherst research more than one-third of the Corn Belt in the Midwest – nearly 30 million acres – has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil. We can’t sustain the current way we think and live! What legacy are we leaving our descendants?
Maybe we should think of the planet as our house and make it more of a home. If indeed it is the little things that make our house a home, we need to focus less on material things and more on nature, protecting the environment, and the simple pleasures of life with family and friends.
The Native American people understood the human responsibility to our planet as noted in this Cree Prophecy:
When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
This blog post was written by Alan Moeller