Mindful Living, Mindful Giving

- Posted by Quaker Earthcare Witness in Pamphlets for SharingSustainability,  | 2 min read
Woman counts US dollar bills

This article is part of our Pamphlets for Sharing series produced by QEW’s Publications Committee. Download the PDF here or order print copies by emailing info@quakerearthcare.org.

“COMPASSIONATE CONSUMPTION is not about sacrificing or giving up what we need. It is about reawakening to the sacred within and around us and celebrating this awareness in every action—and in every transaction. Our conscious choices change the world.” —Julia Butterfly Hill

WITH every bite, every press of the accelerator, every swipe of the credit card, we leave a large ecological footprint on the face of the world.

We live in a world where all living systems are bound together in one interdependent community. There can be no economic security without ecological sustainability.

Can we expect governments and corporations to take the lead in moving our economics toward sustainability? Or is it better that we, as individuals, cultivate a deep awareness of the consequences of consumerism, and learn to vote collectively with our pocketbooks? The consumer choices we make have an immediate impact and our example as the potential to lead our society to a better quality of life for all beings.

“There is enough for everybody’s need, but not enough for anybody’s greed.”

A never-ending stream of advertising messages reinforces people’s delusion that the accumulation of material goods is the royal road to happiness, the very purpose of our lives.

The hunger for the material comes from a neurotic pursuit of pleasure, comfort, and security. We try to shield ourselves from daily pain through accentuating pleasurable moments.

Generosity is a practice that can overcome our our self-absorption and our desire to possess. Generosity benefits others.

MAY we be generous to the world through mindful living and mindful giving. May this be the legacy that we leave to our children and grandchildren.


  • Give a Certificate of Time or Service.
  • Make a favorite meal for a friend.
  • Take a walk with a friend.
  • Give a gift of a membership or donation to a non-profit organization.
  • Volunteer.
  • Make a gift.
  • Give something that is precious to you.
  • Give “Fair Trade” items.
  • Share a favorite book, movie, or poem.
  • Go dancing together or hiking, sledding, or singing.
  • Give a massage.
  • Sing a song.
  • Listen.
  • Give necessary clothing or food.
  • Care for children.
  • Share cars.
  • Tell a story & much more…

Text is taken from the book Mindfulness in the Marketplace—Compassionate Responses to Consumerism, edited by Allan Hunt Badiner, a collection of essays by Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, the Dalai Lama, Fritjof Capra, and other inspired people who make a difference, like you!