My husband and I made a decision several years ago to simplify our lives, and from the moment that we made this commitment it has become an evolving and not always linear process .
We wanted to take some personal responsibility for the preservation of the natural world, we wanted to bring what mattered most to us -- family, friends, personal and spiritual growth - into sharper focus, and we wanted our daily lives to be more consistent with our deepest values. We've given up a number of possessions, downsized our home and our incomes, and transformed our vision of the 'good life.' Still, in general though, the steps we've taken have more often been tentative than bold, and we've a significant distance yet to travel before our lives satisfactorily approximate our vision.
It's not been easy to maintain our commitment to simplicity in a culture that has been as materialistic and as competitive as ours has been in spite of the inestimable cost of rampant consumerism to our planet and to our mental and spiritual health. And yet with the rate of job loss and business closings rising, and the stock market continuing to fall, I am unsettled and confused. On the one hand, I want to continue to encourage living more simply and sustainably, and on the other, I want the future of myself and my fellow Americans to be secure, and I fully recognize that this requires a healthy economy. In spite of the messages from the media that seem to imply otherwise, I don't believe that these two desires are in conflict. I believe that we can behave more responsibly fiscally, environmentally, socially, and morally and still stimulate the economy. And, I also believe that we can live more simply and at the same time more abundantly.
I'm going to be adding links to websites and articles regarding simple living on a regular basis. To begin with you might want to check out the following articles:
Simplicity and President Obama's Inaugural Address
Are We Ready for a New Kind of Capitalism?
The Overspent American
Simplicity and the good life -- this side of going hobo