Actually, we’ll do that in opposite order.
The Small Thought
Yesterday, I shared that I’ve chosen not to spend time line-drying my laundry because a) I hated it and b) it wasn’t saving me that much money.
Whenever I mention that I don’t line-dry my laundry, some people are invariably appalled. Either they can’t believe I would give up the monetary savings, or they are concerned that I’m not thinking about the ecological impact of the energy a dryer uses.
Here’s the small thought I have about that (which I touched on in the comments yesterday).
None of us (except for possibly the rare superwoman or superman) lives either a perfectly frugal life or a perfectly ecologically-friendly life.
That means that to a degree, we are all picking and choosing what frugal or earth-friendly activities we will do. And of course, the picking and choosing we each do will be different because we’ve all got varying amounts of time and varying priorities.
So, when we look at the activities other people have chosen, we need to do that with grace.
After all, we’d want someone to treat our choices graciously.
Maybe you are horrified that your neighbor pays someone to clean her house. But it’s quite possible that she saves money in ways you don’t so that she can afford the cleaner.
Perhaps your cousin’s habit of taking very long, very hot showers seems environmentally wasteful to you. But maybe that cousin doesn’t turn his heat up as high as you do, or maybe he drives less than you.
Ooh, and I may possibly think a cell phone bill is ridiculously high (ahem). But, I really ought to consider that other people may spend less on things like, um, cameras (says she who owns two SLRs).
I know from personal experience that it’s pathetically easy to fall into a frugaler-than-thou or greener-than-thou kind of mindset, but I also know that blessed little in the way of good stuff comes from that way of thinking.
So, when you’re tempted to look down on someone else because they’ve made a difference choice from you, try what helps me: reminding yourself that difference isn’t necessarily worse or wrong. It could just be…different.
P.S. Just to clarify, I’m not upset or hurt that people questioned my choice not to line-dry. Fortunately, my skin is a little thicker than that by now and I am very comfortable with my decision. I’m sharing this thought today not to defend myself, but to encourage us all to treat other people with understanding.