We are half way through our Yoga Sutras challenge: Day#5: Aparigraha - non-possessiveness or non-greed. Hummm.... What can say about Aparigraha?
One of my pet peeves is when people refer to others as "my wife, my husband, my kids, my this or my that....." It makes me nuts. It makes me feel like the other person is a possession instead of an individual.
I'm reading a book right now called "The Help". It's about how the help, as in the maids in the South, were treated by the white families they worked for. It's rather shocking when I read about the fact that people actually believed that it was okay for other human beings to be considered their property!! This is an extreme example but in subtle ways some people still consider their loved ones as their possession. Pay attention today to how many times you refer to someone as MY this or MY that.
Non-greed is about not taking more than you need. Have you seen the new TLC program called "Extreme Couponing"? I watched this woman buy 70+ bottles of mustard because with the coupon they were free. The best part was the poor husband saying "But honey, I don't even like mustard". Not taking more than you need - who the hell needs 70+ bottles of mustard??
My day job is as an insurance agent. We have some clients who are pretty well off financially. They purchases properties cash when they already have 2 or 3 homes and have more cars than any one family needs. It just seems so wasteful to me when I see people collecting material possessions that they don't need. It's even more disturbing to me when there are children in this world who are starving. How can there be such a huge gap? How can one person be able to purchase a $500,000. house and pay cash when across town there is a child who is picking through the trash can in the school yard looking for food because he hasn't eaten in 2 days!! When you are blessed to have more than you need - give it to someone who needs it. The more you have the more you should give to others but even if you only have a little - you should still give a little.
Look around you.... what have you accumulated that you don't really need? Have you considered giving it to someone else who needs it? Before you know it, it will be winter. I'm sure you have an old coat in your closet that you don't use. Many of us are fortunate enough to have more than one. Why not give one or two away this winter to someone who needs it.
Taking more than you need also refers to things like not wasting our natural resources. My son, Jake, told me the other day that he wants to do the dishes from now on. I'm, apparently, not doing them the right way. He instructed me to fill the sink with soapy water, turn off the facet and wash the dishes and then rinse them off quickly so that I don't waste water. (He also taught me the right way to brush my teeth without wasting water). Looks like Jake is practicing Aparigraha.
So, the challenge of the day:
*take inventory of your possessions and give some away to
other who need it
*Don't take more than you need
*Conserve our natural resources
Remember the prayer of St. Francis? It is in giving that we receive. The one thing that we all have to give is LOVE. Funny thing about LOVE, the more you give the more you receive.