In Bill McKibben’s book Deep Economy, he talks about the effects of an economy based on “more”, often at the expense of “better”. Much of our lives focus on convenience and efficiency. Fast and cheap wins almost every time. What would our lives look like if we made intentional lifestyle decisions that are better for us? Not better in the sense that my 64 GB iPod is better than your 8 GB iPod. I mean, better in the sense of the quality of life people experience, both individually and as a community.

This journey toward better will look different for people. For my family it looks like joining Community Supported Agriculture in order to have a closer connection to our food and the people who grow it. It means trying to learn how to eat more healthy foods. It means brewing fair trade coffee in our home so we can know that the farmers growing the beans can afford to send their children to school and provide them with food and shelter. It means stuffing my garage full of recyclable waste so I can someday get around to hauling it to the local recycling center. It means being a part of a local church and building relationships with people who are different than me. It means sponsoring a child from El Salvador through Compassion International. It means going to the local record store to see an old friend once in a while rather than buying all of my music from iTunes. It means only having one television in my house. It means letting travelling musicians sleep on my couch for a week. It means trying to learn my neighbors’ names and sharing meals with them once in a while. It means taking a lot of small steps that are changing me. These choices are helping me to see that there is another way to live that doesn’t have to hold fast and cheap in such high regard. Fast and cheap can be good, but maybe there is something better.

What about you?  What are some ways you have experienced “better”?

  1. Thanks for letting us sleep on your couch!

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