Simple Living Works!

What Simple Living Is Not

Posted on: June 21, 2013

4-A2141Voluntary Simplicity is not a list of rules. It is a consciousness, an awareness. It is a matter of personal responsibility. Whenever we go to buy something, to use something, we think:

  • Do I need to buy this?
  • Or do I want to?
  • Do I really need to use this?
  • Do I buy what I like?
  • What will impress?

It can be difficult separating needs from wants, especially with some things, like automobiles. What do we use them for? Can we do without? If not, how do we choose the one we need?

Remember what our children would say to us when they wanted to do something that they knew was irresponsible.

  • “But, all the kids are doing it.”

Let’s try that in our lives. [Say this aloud in a whining voice.]

  • “But, everybody’s driving a new car… .
  • But, everybody builds a big, expensive house that’s ten times bigger than they need, claiming it’s for equity when the kids leave home…
  • But, everybody has a yard that looks like a golf course so that nobody complains that we’re lowering their property values…”

Sounds pretty silly and disconcerting, doesn’t it?

Voluntary Simplicity is not “living on the cheap.” It’s more than frugality, far from being a tightwad, and surely not being a miser. In some cases we’ll actually need to pay more for tools that are Earth-friendly.

Instead it’s a journey to find more meaning, more joy, more fun in life by getting out from under the burden of so much stuff, to remove the barrier of stuff that keeps us apart from other people, from God and even from ourselves.

Voluntary Simplicity is not a list of rules to follow, though there are five life standards. It’s about seeing our lives as extravagant, even out-of-control concerning our consumption. Then deciding what to do little by little, day-by-day, week-by-week to cut down on consumption.

We recommend not going cold turkey. That brings significant frustration.

“Simple living today is joyful, bright, poetic and mentally robust.” –Michael Phillips and Catherine Campbell, Simple Living Investments

More Ideas

The Common Good Podcast episode 28: Simple Living – Practical Implications

How to Influence Others.

Also of interest

What’s Happened to Simple Living?

The Five Life Standards of Living More with Less (series)

What Is Voluntary Simplicity?

Peace, Gerald

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