As probably many of you are experiencing, we are seeing our lives shrink. We are pulling back, delaying, cutting, and doing without. It is sad to see this happen especially when it involves an area that I care a great deal about.
One example of this is I had to recently call to cancel some automatic giving we were doing. It wasn't much. Actually it was quite small. I liked giving to this fund because it felt like a way to care for a very basic need in the community. It was also something no one would know about. We also passed on giving to our community pond this summer. It was the first time we missed chipping in a few bucks for lawn mowing expenses.
We are no longer quietly giving our little contribution. Our lives are shrinking and I find that quite sad. I would rather see the good things that I have started continue. I want my giving and my care for the community to grow.
Our lives are shrinking in other ways than just giving. Small things that we have done year after year have been put off. This is the first year we did not go to the nursery to buy some trees for the property we've owned for seven years. We also did not get to take a trip to Door County this summer to walk the quant little towns and enjoy Lake Michigan. I like little traditions like that because they help define who we are and what we value.
When people's lives shrink it affects more than just themselves. It affects the people around them that depend on those small contributions. Then those people also pull back on their activities and spending. What we end up having is a smaller and smaller economy.