Here’s a lovely story from Buddha’s life.
One day, a disciple came to Buddha and said,” Master, my robe is worn out. Can I have a new one?” Buddha found that the robe was indeed in a bad condition and arranged for a new robe to be given.
The next day, Buddha asked him “What did you do with your old robe?” The disciple replied, “I am using it as my bed spread.” Then Buddha wondered, “Have you disposed of your old bed spread?” The disciple replied, “No, Master. I am using my old bedspread as a curtain.”
“And what about your old curtain?”, asked Buddha. “It is being used to handle hot utensils in the kitchen,” the disciple replied. “Then, can you tell me what happened to the old cloth used in the kitchen,” was the next question. The disciple said, “It is being used to wash the floor.”
Buddha asked, “So then where’s the old rag being used to wash the floor?” The disciple humbly replied “Master, since it was totally torn, I could not think of any better use for it, but as the wick in the oil lamp, which lights your study room after sunset.”
Buddha smiled in contentment and left for his room.
We have moved far, far away from the teachings of Buddha, which are rooted in Indian culture. It’s not too long ago. Remember when we did not feel the need to buy the bigger car with the latest technology every two years, we had pens for which we bought refills, we were happy with shoes in neutral shades instead of a wardrobe crammed with the latest styles, when manufacturers reused bottles after cleaning them instead of using PET bottles and tin cans which lie dumped in the garbage – stinking and rusting?
Surely, you can’t imagine that this wasteful culture can go on? And surely you don’t flatter yourself thinking you are already doing your bit to conserve the environment? Do you often feel there is wasteful production; wasteful consumption? And how often do we land up buying things which we do not even get out of the packaging we bought it in?
Do you get the feeling that something is seriously wrong and we are responsible for nailing down the problem and finding solutions?
Well its time we, you and I who are these consumers, stopped. If we do not make the right choices to diligently conserve what little we have left, we will soon have decisions thrust on us by Nature. The price might be too heavy for us to pay. So, think what you can do about it ..before its too late.