Two radio stations come in clearly in our Girdwood condo–Glacier City Radio, and KSKA. We can listen to ESPN 550 “The Zone” in the car, but it begins crackling with static as we get closer to home, and it disappears completely as we turn the corner into our parking lot.
I’m a talk-radio junkie, so I’ve tuned the kitchen radio to KSKA. If I don’t care for the show airing when I’m working in the kitchen, I turn the radio off.
Two choices of stations, and a choice to listen or not. Pretty simple. No fiddling with the tuning knob, no dithering about possibilities on other stations. It’s kind of peaceful.
Isn’t it strange, to have so much privilege that privilege becomes oppressive? To have so many options in my daily life that it’s a relief when circumstances narrow those choices?
There was a story I liked when I was a kid, about a prince who stopped eating. No matter what rich delicacies his father put on the table, the prince turned away. He wasn’t hungry.
The prince decided to go on a journey, looking for something to whet his appetite. At the end of his quest, in a small hut in the forest, someone offered him a slice of brown bread.
It tasted delicious.
Liesl and I ordered take-out from a Chinese restaurant in Lake Tahoe a few weeks ago. A sign over the buffet said, “Take what you need. Don’t waste food.”
If we want a more equitable world, where we all share the planet’s bounty, those of us with privilege will have to learn to take only what we need from the buffet.
The way I see human nature, this is only going to happen if we’re really convinced that less is more. The change we need can’t rely on saintly self-sacrifice.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to. Restraint actually does feel better than excess. Limits help us feel more secure. And fewer options make our choices simpler.