Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Voluntary Simplicity

Over 10 years ago, Scott Simon and the public tv folk did a documentary on “voluntary simplicity”, living on only what is necessary, avoiding excess consumption, reducing stress and actually becoming “anti-materialistic.” They ran it again on the Documentary Channel this afternoon and it really caught my attention.

Here, in our economic pothole, with a government trying to restore the high debt spending system supported by banks, investment houses, auto manufacturers and most of the world’s producers of necessary and unnecessary products, we are all trying to get by from day to day with jobs disappearing and income tightening up.

Living a more simplified life in West Virginia is where Elly and I started heading before the blowout of the markets. It is somewhat less expensive here and the community has just about everything we need to survive as long as we can keep ma job. Elly’s teaching position is fairly secure (mine, however, never was and is about to end — leaving me back at freelancing in the web market… and fortunately I found my first local client on my initial entry into the market. One more account and I will be better off than I was teaching and have more control of my own time.)

The Farmer’s Market has started again for the season, giving us access to fresh, mostly organic produce tied to the season. We participate in the Town recycling pickup every Tuesday morning (although I don’t know where the plastic goes… hopefully not to landfills where they just add to the mess, but into new products or insulation or fabrics[?]… I saw an ad for men’s suits made of a recycled plastic fabric!) We garden in our back yard, eat what we grow and have very good grocery stores with new organic food departments springing up all over.

Intellectual stimulation comes through Community Theatre (now I’m involved with Full Circle and really enjoying it) and the free Friday night film society.

And we could still simplify our lives some more. The next year will be an interesting experiment.

Under The LobsterScope

1 comment

  1. I didn’t need a PBS documentary to give me the idea, either. The most revered individuals in history taught this thousands of years ago. I began to question the materialistic life style when I first read Socrates. That was while I was in grade school. Here was a much admired person who spurned wealth. This lesson was reinforced as I learned more about the teachings of Jesus and Buddha.

    Over the years, I wondered why everyone praised these men for their brilliance and morality and yet the world I lived in was completely antithetical to those teachings. There seems to be a huge disconnect between what people profess to believe and how they act out those beliefs.

    Possessions are ‘things’. They have no intrinsic moral or ethical value in and of themselves. Some have sentimental value, yet all that means is that they remind us of something good. Even when those items are lost, you still have your memories.

    The easiest way to simplify your life is to give up the belief that you have to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. Look to your own life for fulfillment instead of looking at what other people value.

    Damn, here I am preaching and it’s not even a Sunday.


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