A is for Apple. It is also for Affluent.
I'm talking about the acronym APLS that I've been throwing around here lately. Affluent Persons Living Simply.
Everyone likes the moniker. It's cute. It sounds like a piece of fruit. It beats the pants off of Greenfluencers and YAWNs but it's got that one piece, that first letter, that we're just not quite sure about.
Our first reaction, including mine, is that we're not rich. We're not Oprah. Our home is small, our car old, our bank account dwindling. Our first reaction is to think of "Affluent" in terms of dollars and cents.
Financially speaking, though, we are affluent. Every last one of us living here in the developed world. We're loaded . . . relative to our friends on the other side of the globe. Three billion people live on less than $2 a day. 1.3 billion live on less than $1 a day. Check out the Global Rich List to see where you fall. I guarantee you'll be in the top tenth, or at least the top quarter, of the world in terms of material wealth.
Even if we hesitate at being labeled "Affluent" as an individual, none of us can dispute that the countries we call home are wealthy. Just living here, we've all benefited from the advantages only citizens of affluent countries enjoy - paved streets patrolled by police officers and firefighters, schools, libraries, parks.
Moreover, in the green movement, we spend a great deal of time discussing local living, supporting local businesses, eating locally grown food, and building a local support system. While all of those activities are fulfilling personally and meaningful in the fight against global warming, global warming is just that. Global. It is not a problem that will affect only us. Or only Africa. Or only South America. It is impacting us all and we must work globally to find solutions. If our nations, the ones with the resources, do not step in, offer sustainable alternatives and help people in third world countries do more than just survive the day, we cannot win.
But wealth is not just calculated in terms of money. It is more than dollars and cents. Cars and clothes. Jets and jewelry. Much more.
Since I embarked on a lighter lifestyle, I've grown wealthy beyond measure. Today, I ate a home cooked meal from blackberries I picked with friends and potatoes I grew in my backyard. I watched butterflies cavort through my flower garden and my children scoot up and down the sidewalk. I hung clean clothes on a clothesline bordered by morning glories and raspberry bushes. I sat under a tree and read library books to my boys. My last medical check up with smiles and congratulations on healthful living. I have a calendar so full with events with newly found friends - APLS most of them - that I can hardly find time to garden.
I am living richly. I am experiencing real wealth.
No matter how you look at it, I am affluent.