The future of legislature – reframed

With more and more households leaning toward a minimalist way of living, I’d like to acknowledge how we’re all going to have to make another reframe in our approach to living in society. You see – there is an urban, middle class trend of living in closed communities. This ensures safety and higher lifestyle standards, but it also almost secludes members of said community from being connected to, and accountable for anything outside of their lifestyle village.

With governments and municipalities also embracing a minimalist way of governing; they don’t replace balustrade around parks, they don’t attend to call outs to illegal tree felling; neither do they have sufficient staff to clear debris on the roads after flooding or heavy rains.

Now this might go by another name of neglect, but it really is a form of minimalism, if you use your imagination, and bear with me here. It is the responsibility of our government and municipalities to maintain standards, without spending too much money, or generating too much waste, and drawing on too many resources.

Maintaining standards is vital, what I’m saying is that maintenance is going to take a fair amount of creativity from the governors, which currently might not be something that they’ve figured out yet.

So, the ideal situation would be to have balustrades replaced, in a minimalist way that ensures resources are used sparingly, and the environment is impacted minimally and that the time of staff is efficiently used; all providing that the balustrades are in fact the best solution for an area.

But I believe that maintenance also needs input from the citizens (other than in the form of paying taxes and voting).  I believe it’s going to take a hefty step-up to the plate from citizens, where we’re going to have to give up our attitudes of existing in society at ‘arm’s length’. There’s no use in complaining about deterioration, if you actually don’t do anything for the prevention of deterioration.

The onus is on all of us, to be clearing away soil run-off in our intersections. The time for all of us to question people, on the spot, who are illegally dumping, is now. I’m not endorsing getting into fisticuffs with law breakers, I’m just saying, make time to gather other community members and hold the perps to task – as a team.

In order to truly be minimalists, we’ll need to spend a lot more time fixing, mending, assisting in areas that we never had to previously, when we were living lives of excess.

Not only do we have to figure out what to do with the waste we’ve made to date, but we have to engage with the nuances of how we’re going to make our new minimalist future work in society.

Our creativity extends to how to join forces with like-minded people from your areas and how to develop relationships with them so that they can be on your speed dial when you need back-up in an illegal dumping situation. I’m also talking about creative negotiation techniques and disaster management, so that you are properly equipped for any situation.

By being fully equipped, you are responsibly fulfilling a role that was previously occupied by an appointed authoritative figure. The point is not to try and understand why that authoritative figure is no longer doing their job (even though we feel they’re overpaid and not fulfilling their roles); nor is it to question whether the legislative position even exists anymore, I’m saying, step up to the plate.

Give, serve and utilise your time, skills, money, energy, resources all for the benefit of the community, even if it seems like you’re the only one giving and all the rest are taking. Get involved at municipality meetings, join a party and rally people, use your rake and spade on that piece of municipal land, be active in the movement for the cause for greater good.

Guaranteed, if you exemplify your desires for your neighbours, community, city and country; your deeds will have a ripple effect.  Let’s all be responsible for legislature – because if we aren’t, it means we might only be complaining about it from the comfort of our industrial-styled lounges.





I believe that water is our future.

I am an extreme worrier. I worry about the fate of stray animals; construction vehicles parked next to rivers for long periods of time; the evidence of an area’s decay; where moles and hedgehogs live because there is so much ground cement these days; and what is going to happen to us all when we run out of water? With age, I’ve realised that worrying about things doesn’t actually make the issues better. So I have started to occasionally do something other than simply shed the tears. Occasionally, I stop and let the stray animal into my car and drive it to a place of safety. Occasionally I strongly voice my opinion to colleagues who have plans to ‘gas out’ the moles who decorate their garden. With regards to the water shortage, however, I’ve really upped my game. I decided that it was time for me to rid myself of a practice that had been deeply ingrained in me, a practice of ‘one wear, one wash’. I could never possibly tell my mother that I was rebelling against her extreme cleanliness, but I’ll tell cyberspace and then run with it should she find out.

I have started wearing clothes more than once, before putting them into the quick wash cycle. Socks, bras, pants, skirts, stockings, jackets and jerseys, they are all pretty much re-wearable provided your place of work is not a sweat lodge. Which mine isn’t, so score! So in order to change the world, I’ve changed myself. And no-one has really commented about me wearing the same clothes over and over. And why should they? I smell and look fine, and my rotation system is pretty sneaky.

Here are the other ways that I am trying to preserve this precious element of ours:

1)      I use the water from the cat’s water bowls, to water my plants (the water from my hot water bottle shares the same fate).

2)      I shower as quickly as possible. I also brush my teeth in the shower so as to avoid the water wastage that occurs when one waits for the basin tap water to warm up before rinsing the old ‘pearlys’.

3)      I use a pot of water to boil eggs for breakfast, and that same water steams veggies at night.

4)      I don’t always need to flush the toilet, not every time.

5)      When I run a bath for my husband (who loves to wallow in a filled-to-the-brim-bath), I run them as low as I possibly can without him noticing. If, however, I fill the bath too low, then he cottons onto the fact that it’s low and fills it right up. It’s a psychological trick of the mind for me to get this point right but so far, I’m reigning champ.

I know there are loads more ways to preserve our water; I’ve only scratched on the surface. The point is that we all need to start thinking of the small habits we can change to make a big difference in the long run. What will you do today, to make sure that water is available tomorrow?

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