I was raised with the belief to not leave the world in a worse condition than you found it in. If something can be fixed or reused, I do so. It’s about getting the best value from the resources you have. It’s about making something last as long as possible, and minimizing waste. A simple way to do this is to save the backs of envelopes for grocery lists. A lot of garbage can be reduced by discovering what is needed to solve a problem. I can discover the best way to address those needs and without adding unnecessary frills.
I did not grow up in times of wealth and prosperity. My fellow high school students were poor to middle class and yet they never hesitated to give when raising money for charity. They showed me that no matter how poor you were, you could always give back.
I have to be careful with what I have so I can help others who are struggling even more than I am. For example, while walking with one of my friends, we saw a homeless man who said, “Hello” rather than begging for the money he really needed. He showed me that we shouldn’t throw away anything before its time when others don’t have anything to lose.
Winning was never as important as doing my best. Nobody can do better than their best, so I take my losses gracefully and learn from my mistakes so I can do better the next time. Things can always be done better, and there are always more problems to solve, so I never stop working.