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The backpack question--What would you chose to pack and bring with you?

It feels like Fall today here in Minnesota. It's been 12 fall seasons since my Outward Bound learning adventure in the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. This 12 years on, I am still learning more about the world and about myself. Today, I began to think about stuff--no, not worries, but actual stuff, and how surrounded I am in it.

Maybe it's because last Friday was the global climate strike, or maybe it's just this time of year. I began to pose the question to myself--if I could only keep those items that I could pack and carry into a standard sized backpack, what items would I choose? Useful things? Sentimental things? Practical, light-weight? Inspiring? Interesting question.

During my Outward Bound experience, and as I understand it, and as is common to all OB experiences, we are advised and encouraged to only bring a minimalist list of items with us that, from knowledge and expertise of the course advisors, is all we need. To that, we are given a spoon, a bowl, a water bottle and a cup.

That minimalist lesson was helpful. I'm certain that the times ahead of us globally will demand that we downsize and prioritize our consumption and acquisition of things in order to bring our living in balance with the world's capacity to sustain us. In addition, it will help to foster a greater community of sharing and equity, particularly among those of us in the wealthier parts of the world and those who are already experiencing climate stress, exploitation and loss, either in other parts of the world or in our own cities and towns.

If all you could keep is what things you could pack and carry in a standard sized backpack, what would you keep?

If you haven't seen this video, or it's been a while since you last watched it, here is a link to The Story of Stuff (plus a whole bunch more interesting things), worth watching...

There are many more interesting videos to watch and ponder about at

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