Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Hidden Benefit of the Economic Downturn

I've noticed a new trend in some of the restaurants I frequent. They seem to be cutting corners right and left. It's time, it seems, to reduce costs and save money. One of the ways this is showing up in restaurants actually shows a hidden benefit of the current crisis. They are being more frugal with their resources.

For example, one of my restaurants (a fast food chain) has taken the napkin dispensers off the tables. Now you must get your napkins from the condiment bar. It discourages waste.

At another restaurant, they have started to ask whether you need utensils for your takeout. This is great! Before they would always just give you the plastic utensils, whether you needed them or not. It is incredibly wasteful.

All over, what I'm noticing these days, is that businesses and normal folks are being more conscious about their resources. People are wasting less. Businesses are making due with less. Everyone seems to have a renewed sense of responsibility about what they use and spend.

I believe this is a very good thing!

Prosperity can sometimes encourage waste and carelessness. One of the hidden benefits of what we are all going through economically right now is that we start to appreciate things more and pay more attention to how we use and spend what we have. It makes us more conscious and more aware of what we have! This helps us to live more in the present moment and not take things for granted. All of this actually enriches our life experiences.

Appreciation and awareness are great qualities to develop and cultivate. I believe that if we look for it, even in the midst of the difficult time that so many of us are going through, we can be changed for the better!

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