Apr 17 2011

Voluntary Simplicity

Published by at 9:58 pm under Reflection Blog

This was certainly an interesting read. While I agreed with much of Elgin’s argument, I also found several statements to be overly vague and idealistic both in language used and in expectations from the human race. What I most appreciated, however, was Elgin’s distinction between voluntary simplicity and poverty, and the discussion of how to “opt out” of an overly consumerist culture without going to unreasonable extremes of material-free living. I can definitely see the argument that there is freedom in consuming less, and I wholeheartedly support his opinion that consumption should be “conscious.” Through consuming only intentionally and thoughtfully, overall consumption would certainly decrease, and what was still consumed would be done free from the cultural brainwashing that tells us identity is found in materials consumed.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Voluntary Simplicity”

  1. hannahweeks51on 18 Apr 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I also appreciated Elgin’s differentiation between voluntary simplicity and poverty. Like he states, people often confuse the two ideas. However, simplicity, as he emplicates, is voluntary, whereas, poverty is not a choice. There is a huge distinction between those who choose to live a simple life and those who must live a simple life.

  2. esmethuron 18 Apr 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I agree with both of you. I kept thinking of Nickel and Dimed and how the workers that Barbara interacted with had no choice about living paycheck to paycheck. They did not have the time to reflect about what they were doing…it was a sense of survival. Those situations are different because the people involved have not chosen a simple life. Poverty is what they are experiencing.