I loved to read the Little House books as a kid. I was fascinated by the self-reliance and determination of those pioneers. (Of course, it helped that my own ancestors had been pioneers as well.)

Those books reinforced my feelings of pride in a job well done, and in the idea of taking care of the things you have.

I was reminded of that recently when I went to use a Kleenex.

For some reason, I stopped and stared at what was essentially a little piece of paper. I had a sudden vision of what it must have been like when paper was precious.

The pioneers would have been horrified at the idea of using something as hard to get as paper to blow their nose.

Now, paper is so common that we just take it for granted. We waste it because it’s “easier” than say, using a handkerchief. (Or using a paper towel to wipe up a spill instead of a cloth.)

We don’t really stop and think about all of the energy, trees, and water that goes into something we use for a couple of seconds and then throw away. (Requiring more energy and resources to dispose of it.)

What would our world be like if we really cared for and appreciated the things we have? If we were grateful for them instead of taking them for granted?

Somehow, I think it would be a better (and more enjoyable) place.