Simple Living Works!

951-WhoseBirthday2005

You’re welcome to contribute to our most widely-read resource, “Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?” for Advent/Christmas. Though it’s no longer printed on paper, it is published online since 2012.

All 25+ editions are still available on the SLW! site. The articles are carefully indexed.

The current edition will be updated as new material arrives, so send ideas and items anytime. Prepare something now while it’s really on your mind. An item may be new or not, original or not. (If it’s by someone else, include a complete description of the source.) We prefer items of 250 words or fewer (one page double-spaced). We reserve the right to edit.

  • ART (line drawing, photo) that depicts the tension between faith and culture, especially at Christmas.
  • PERSONAL EXPERIENCES (especially intergenerational ones) related to simplifying Christmas or finding meaning and happiness in relationships instead of stuff.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITIES, rituals or worshipful ceremonies for Advent, Christmas or Epiphany.

We reach many through our website, blogs, podcast and other media. Sorry, we cannot pay for any submissions. All of our original resources are free of charge.

Read past editions in the archives.

Please send your submissions by email to SimpleLivingWorks AT yahoo.com. If you need to send something by US mail, email us and we’ll send you a mailing address.

Thanks!

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Coming: new “WHOSE Birthday?” Podcast series.

Podcast Index, including “WHOSE Birthday?” 2013.

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (window #3).

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Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

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What’s NOW with SLW!

  • Check out a few of these thought-provoking, timely resources that might meet your personal, family or congregational/group needs. They’re all FREE.

What’s Coming

What’s Happened

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3).
Episode Index
Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same.

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

*GRAPHIC – Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art: Celebrating Christmas #3-A0888.

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

!CONSUMO

Feeling Bullied by Consumo? Ask Slim.

Slim made his first appearance in the skit Consumo Must Go! There Slim was the common sense character, the antidote to the anti-superhero Consumo, the Overlord of Overconsumption.

A recent question from college classmate John Herrmann prompts me to start the hopefully interactive blog “Ask Slim.” I’ll give my reply to questions that are broadly about simpler living and invite you to add your responses.

John wrote:

Gerald, Does Simple Living have any accumulated wisdom on necessity of Cable/Satellite TV and Internet/Smart Phone — where to stop etc.? Seems like it takes a chunk of change, and increasingly so, to keep all this stuff. A lot of it seems to be habit that one has gotten used to and now “can’t live without.” But surely there is an alternative . . . John

Slim says:

Several simple living propositions apply here.

  1. Needs trump wants. If you really need Cable/Satellite TV, Internet and/or a Smart Phone, get one. If you just want them, don’t get them. Simple living is not about deprivation. It is about conscious living, being aware of our real needs and their consequences for us and the Earth.
  2. If you decide to get it, consult Clark Howard. He has a daily radio show, also available as a podcast. Clark’s motto is “save more, spend less and avoid rip-offs.” He’s goal is thrift, not the large view of voluntary simplicity. ClarkHoward.com has many cost guides – travel, for example – which his staff keeps updated. In this case, I’d consult his site about recent cell phone plans.
  1. Life Standard #5 of Living More with Less is “Non-conform Freely.” This pertains to many things, such as fashion fads. I use it primarily to avoid the lure of advertising on commercial media, especially TV (and the internet, which has become so targeted).

Now it’s your turn. Post comments, ideas, questions and confessions on this blog or email SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com. Yes, my blogs are moderated by me.

Yes, Slim is an acronym for “Simple Living Is More.”

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Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

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What’s NOW with SLW

What’s Coming

What’s Happened

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same.

Episode Index

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

*GRAPHIC – Consumo: Spirit of Simplicity Quotes and Art #1-A501

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

coverfront-blessingscd

Earth Mama’s music is fun and enjoyed by all ages, while teaching important messages about sustainable living, recycling, and eco-activism. Perfect for teachers and Cultural Creatives, Earth Mama music spreads the word about sacred ecology and simple living. Earth Mama music is truly “music therapy for the planet.”

NEW – songbook for her new Blessings of the Universe CD!  My blog about her recent CD: A Sense of Place. Recent reviews from National Catholic Reporter and Jazz Weekly.

Earth Mama provides the opening theme music for SLW! Podcast. For her version of “Simple Gifts: ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple,” listen to episode 2. John Pitney’s complete “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live” (closing podcast theme) | website.

Enough Is As Good As a Feast” (text and audio) is Earth Mama’s contribution to Alternatives’ Stories & Songs of Simple Living.

MUSIC CollectionsSing Justice! Do Justice! | Carols with Justice | more

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Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

* * *

What’s NOW with SLW

What’s Coming

What’s Happened

  • New “Simply Advent” eResources. It’s so encouraging when someone uses or re-issues some of Alternatives’ resources. World Vision Canada has repackaged our Simply Enough DVD of Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne as Choose Justice with an extensive Conversation Guide. Wood Lake Books – publisher of The Alternative Wedding Book and Treasury of Celebrations – has included The Christmas Game in their popular curriculum Seasons of the Spirit. Now Paul Canavese of The Pastoral Center has incorporated some of Alternatives’ Advent/Christmas resources in its new Simply Advent eResource series. (Or see all of their Advent eResources.) Although their market is primarily Catholic, their four inserts for the Sundays in Advent are quite ecumenical. Their goal is to continue including Simple Living into future resources. So, you have the choice — if you have the time and inclination — to design your own resources using Alternatives’ elements, or to pay someone else a bit to use their Alternatives-inspired eResources.
  • Tony and Shane Uncut Finale — Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne’s complete dialog on simpler living and global justice, in eight parts. To LISTEN visit the Episode Index. The topics are different for each episode. Complete Endorsements by Jim Wallis, Author of God’s Politics & President of Sojourners; Aiden Enns, Geez magazine, BuyNothingChristmas.org; Walter Brueggemann, author/scholar; Justo L. Gonzalez, Author of The Story of Christianity; Tom Sine, Author of The Mustard Seed Conspiracy; John de Graaf, Co-Producer and Co-Author of Affluenza: the All-Consuming Epidemic
  • Simple Living Humor? What’s That?  A problem with simple living is that we’re so serious. We don’t even know what to call ourselves. “Simple Livers” seems so anatomical. I mean our heart is really in it, but our livers? We might as well call ourselves Simple Kidneys. • Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art cartoons: Christmas #’s 3-A001-A004 | Earth Care #’s 5-A028-A038 | Economics #’s 7-A026, A035 • PostConsumers.com: Get Satisfied Gallery (cartoons & short video by Mike Swofford) • Bob Sitze’ Simple Enough blog is often humorous in a sophisticated way. Six algorithms I’d like to see is especially funny.
  • Alternative Pentecost & Ordinary Time

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same.

Episode Index

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

*GRAPHIC – Earth Mama

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I interviewed Tom and Christine Sine at Mustard Seed House for SLW! podcast #28. I’ve published my notes of our group discussion (Post #293) at Mustard Seed Associates, as I did with the notes from my speaking tours through 40+ states (including my first visit to MSA, post #168).

Tom is the author of the best-seller Mustard Seed Conspiracy. He gave me a copy of his recent The New Conspirators: Creating the Future One Mustard Seed at a Time. He blogs. He also wrote a series of Advent/Christmas reflections for Alternatives. Christine wrote The Search for Meaning: Beyond a Commercialized World (available in text or podcast). She has written several books about faith formation and gardening.

They are building the Mustard Seed Associates educational eco-village on an island on the coast of Washington state.

* * *

Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

* * *

What’s NOW with SLW

  • New “Simply Advent” eResources. It’s so encouraging when someone uses or re-issues some of Alternatives’ resources. World Vision Canada has repackaged our Simply Enough DVD of Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne as Choose Justice with an extensive Conversation Guide. Wood Lake Books – publisher of The Alternative Wedding Book and Treasury of Celebrations – has included The Christmas Game in their popular curriculum Seasons of the Spirit. Now Paul Canavese of The Pastoral Center has incorporated some of Alternatives’ Advent/Christmas resources in its new Simply Advent eResource series. (Or see all of their Advent eResources.) Although their market is primarily Catholic, their four inserts for the Sundays in Advent are quite ecumenical. Their goal is to continue including Simple Living into future resources. So, you have the choice — if you have the time and inclination — to design your own resources using Alternatives’ elements, or to pay someone else a bit to use their Alternatives-inspired eResources.
  • Tony and Shane Uncut Finale — Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne’s complete dialog on simpler living and global justice, in eight parts. To LISTEN visit the Episode Index. The topics are different for each episode. Complete Endorsements by Jim Wallis, Author of God’s Politics & President of Sojourners; Aiden Enns, Geez magazine, BuyNothingChristmas.org; Walter Brueggemann, author/scholar; Justo L. Gonzalez, Author of The Story of Christianity; Tom Sine, Author of The Mustard Seed Conspiracy; John de Graaf, Co-Producer and Co-Author of Affluenza: the All-Consuming Epidemic
  • Simple Living Humor? What’s That?  A problem with simple living is that we’re so serious. We don’t even know what to call ourselves. “Simple Livers” seems so anatomical. I mean our heart is really in it, but our livers? We might as well call ourselves Simple Kidneys. • Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art cartoons: Christmas #’s 3-A001-A004 | Earth Care #’s 5-A028-A038 | Economics #’s 7-A026, A035 • PostConsumers.com: Get Satisfied Gallery (cartoons & short video by Mike Swofford) • Bob Sitze’ Simple Enough blog is often humorous in a sophisticated way. Six algorithms I’d like to see is especially funny.

What’s Coming

What’s Happened

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same.

Episode Index

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

*GRAPHIC – Mustard Seed Associates

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

SimplyAdventCover

It’s so encouraging when someone uses or re-issues some of Alternatives’ resources. World Vision Canada has repackaged our Simply Enough DVD of Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne as Choose Justice with an extensive Conversation Guide.

Wood Lake Books – publisher of The Alternative Wedding Book and Treasury of Celebrations – has included The Christmas Game in their popular curriculum Seasons of the Spirit.

Now Paul Canavese of The Pastoral Center has incorporated some of Alternatives’ Advent/Christmas resources in its new Simply Advent eResource series. (Or see all of their Advent eResources.) Although their market is primarily Catholic, their four inserts for the Sundays in Advent are quite ecumenical. Their goal is to continue including Simple Living into future resources.

How an eResourse works. You pay a small amount for the right to copy a resource for your family or congregation. You make as many copies as you like. Yes, you could create your own resources for free using Alternatives’ art and text, either the original combination or your new combination. Or you could add your own text to our art or visa verse. For example, we use Alternatives’ art each year for our family eNews Christmas letter from Spirit of Simplicity or Worship Alternatives. (Some examples of finished designs)

You may ask, “Why are these folks selling these items when they are available for free on SimpleLivingWorks.org?” They received permission to incorporate them into new resources. They are people we have worked with before and we trust. Almost all of Alternative’s resources are now covered by the Creative Commons license to save them from abuse. That allows them to be used free of charge, but not sold without permission.

I’ve scheduled an interview with Paul Canavese, also the head of GospelLiving.org, for a SLW! Podcast in Oct. Paul and spouse Ann have contributed to the supplement to Wedding Alternatives. They also hosted Rita and I on a speaking tour. Read the notes of that visit at Post #58. As an internet security expert, he also brought our colleague organization, Jubilee Economics back to health after we were hacked.

So, you have the choice — if you have the time and inclination — to design your own resources using Alternatives’ elements, or to pay someone else a bit to use their Alternatives-inspired eResources.

Yet another option: get copies of Alternatives’ originals on paper, CD or DVD from the ELCA Archives at nominal cost.

* * *

Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

* * *

What’s NOW with SLW

  • Tony and Shane Uncut Finale — Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne’s complete dialog on simpler living and global justice, in eight parts. To LISTEN visit the Episode Index. The topics are different for each episode. Complete Endorsements by Jim Wallis, Author of God’s Politics & President of Sojourners; Aiden Enns, Geez magazine, BuyNothingChristmas.org; Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary; Justo L. Gonzalez, Author of The Story of Christianity; Tom Sine, Author of The Mustard Seed Conspiracy; John de Graaf, Co-Producer and Co-Author of Affluenza: the All-Consuming Epidemic
  • Simple Living Humor? What’s That?  A problem with simple living is that we’re so serious. We don’t even know what to call ourselves. “Simple Livers” seems so anatomical. I mean our heart is really in it, but our livers? We might as well call ourselves Simple Kidneys. • Spirit of Simplicity: Quotes & Art cartoons: Christmas #’s 3-A001-A004 (cartoons by Dan Livdahl) | Earth Care #’s 5-A028-A038 (cartoons by Steve Babbert) | Economics #’s 7-A026, A035 (cartoons by Steve Babbert) • PostConsumers.com: Get Satisfied Gallery (cartoons & short video by Mike Swofford) • Bob Sitze’ Simple Enough blog is often humorous in a sophisticated way. Six algorithms I’d like to see is especially funny.

What’s Coming

  • Tom and Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates — SLW!Podcast, Sept. 1

What’s Happened

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same.

Episode Index

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast.

Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks@yahoo.com or SimpleLivingWorks2@gmail.com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

*GRAPHIC – GospelLiving.org

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index. To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

IMG_4450The response to my blog “Why Are Danes So Happy?” has been AMAZING. Thank you!

PHOTO: Elysha and I discover that street machines return deposits on plastic cups and bottles in Copenhagen to reduce clutter and promote recycling.

Why Are Danes So Happy? The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. It is an inner contentedness. And why? READ MORE

The responses to my other blogs and podcasts are collected HERE.

Recent ADDITION: Stop Complaining about Big Government & Embrace It – Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture, Aug. 20, 2014

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I especially enjoyed this blog/email update as I too come from Danish stock and used to live in Copenhagen while I was young. Incidentally, my father (Bob McNamara) served as the pastor at the International Church of Copenhagen in the 1980s. Fun to notice the small world of connections we live in! I was able to visit Denmark again a few years ago with my family and was so struck by the quality of life there.

Thanks for your good work and I always enjoy the updates!

Warmly,

Deborah McNamara, Northwest Earth Institute // www.nwei.org  // Blog // Facebook // 720/361-2686 // Voluntary Simplicity!

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Unsubscribe. Too political.

Barb Reinhardt

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Wow! Hurray for the Danes!

Thanks for posting this, Gerald! I’ll be reposting. I find this inspiring in the otherwise consistently sad news about human society, the environment & the rich-poor divide.

Rick Zemlin

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The one European city all my immediate family has been in, though not at the same time. I have observed something similar in the neighboring socialist state of Sweden – nowhere did one see outlandish homes that put other ones to shame. There was an observed evenness in the culture and communities.

John Herrmann

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Nice piece on Danish happiness by my friend Gerald “Jerry” Iversen!

John de Graaf, co-founder of the Global Happiness Initiative; producer and author of the Affluenza series

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I like the fact that you point out it’s about contentness not happiness. Happiness is experienced briefly, contentness is a state of the mind the majority of the time.

Ruth Knagenhjelm

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I think the most important point you make is the need to shift from consumerism to contentedess. We will never find happiness in constantly striving for more goods and services.

Kate Pendergrass Norlander

* * *

Subscribe to SLW! Blog

Click “+Follow” at lower right of blog post, enter a name and email address. Welcome!

* * *

What’s NOW with SLW

  • Tony and Shane Uncut – Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne’s complete dialog on simpler living and global justice, in eight parts. To LISTEN, click the player at the top or the bottom of the Show Notes, or visit the Episode Index. NOTE: You can listen to each episode as it is released the 1st and 15th of the month, May-Aug. Or listen to several or all episodes at Preview/Back-up. The topics are different for each episode.
  • Let’s Learn About RAMADAN, June 28-July 27, 2014 – Life Standard: Learn from the World Community from Living More with Less — RAMADAN: Month-Long Fast for Muslims
  • Simpler Living Alternative Daily Calendar – July
  • Check out a few of these thought-provoking, timely resources that might meet your personal, family or congregational/group needs. They’re all FREE.

What’s Coming

What’s Happened

What Others Are Doing

Podcast Reminder

You can access all SLW! podcast audio and the show notes either at SimpleLiving.startlogic.com/SLW-PODCAST or at SimpleLivingWorks.org (then click window #3). Listen through your computer, iPod, iPad, iPhone (or equivalent).

SUBSCRIBE through iTunesStitcher.com or your favorite podcast service. To SUBSCRIBE to email notices, click Comments at the bottom of Show Notes, then check ‘Notify me of new posts by email.’ Please rate us in iTunes and leave a review. Send us your email address to receive the free monthly SLW! eNews. Remember to like us on Facebook. Urge your friends to do the same. Episode Index

Do your friends a favor. Share our blog and podcast. Like SLW! on Facebook. | Follow us on Twitter. | Follow us on Pinterest. Share your thoughts on our podcast and blogs. Email Feedback AT SimpleLivingWorks DOT org [or SimpleLivingWorks AT yahoo DOT com or SimpleLivingWorks2 AT gmail DOT com], leave a message on our Facebook page or on the SLW! blog.

Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative GivingGive away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

Copyright: Creative Commons non-commercial attribution share-alike license.

*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

IMG_4691Rita and I are proud to be Danish-Americans. Both of us come from Danish stock, so we paid tribute to The Motherland by visiting Copenhagen with daughter Elysha for a week this spring.

[Photo: We three share an ice cream with Ron Rentner, a school mate of mine at Concordia, Oakland, Calif. in the '60's. Ron -- in the black shirt -- serves as pastor of the International Church of Copenhagen.]

The Danes are considered to be the happiest people on Earth. Outwardly they don’t appear especially happy. That’s because their happiness is not a shallow veneer. Their’s is an inner contentedness.

And why? Largely because Denmark is a Socialist Democracy. They have little of the gross economic inequality that America has. They willingly pay high taxes and it really works. Copenhagen is on track to be the first carbon neutral capital by 2020!

Prices seem higher there than in the U.S. They pay a 25% VAT (value added tax) on everything. Ouch! you may think. The VAT is already in the price, not added to it, as our sales tax is. We in the U.S. also pay additional fees that they don’t pay. An obvious example is tipping. Here we pay 15-20% for service. Tipping is not expected in Denmark because SERVERS ARE PAID A LIVING WAGE.

I recommend my interview with John De Graaf, co-author and producer of the Affluenza videos and books. He is co-founder of the Happiness Initiative. Though he focuses on Bhutan, his insights are relevant to Denmark as well. (Read my blog posts on The Geography of Bliss and Global Happiness Initiative.)

Why be concerned about happiness? One big reason would be that we Americans need to redefine happiness, away from consumerism toward contentedness. Why? Human civilization will go through immense trauma (some say extinction) by 2100. Let’s prepare ourselves, our children and grandchildren for the change now. Yes, we can mitigate some of the worst effects through simple, green living but we cannot reverse the inevitable through geo-engineering or magical, wishful thinking. (See my blog post Vision of the Future.)

Recent ADDITION: Stop Complaining about Big Government & Embrace It – Thom Hartmann: The Big Picture, Aug. 20, 2014

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Peace, Gerald “Jerry” Iversen, Chief SLW! Activist

We do not solicit or accept donations, nor do we sell anything. All our resources and services are free of charge. We’re an all-volunteer organization. Instead, we urge Alternative Giving. Give away at least 25% of what you spent last year on all celebrations – Christmas, birthdays, etc. — to local, national and international causes.

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*Treasury of Celebrations: published by Northstone, a division of Wood Lake Publications, BC, Canada, best known for its Seasons of the Spirit curriculum.

Through social media, we extend the mission and resources of the non-profit organization Alternatives, 1973-2011. Simple Living Works! web site home page | Theme/Seasons Index To learn more about SLW! – our MISSION, for example — please listen to our getting-acquainted episodes, especially #1 and 2. We produce a half-hour podcast twice a month, hopefully educational and inspiring for you, your family and your congregation or group. We blog several times a week.

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