Apr 17 2011
I really enjoyed this final reading of the semester. After all of the books and articles we’ve read focusing on the consumer-driven society of America, it was refreshing to read Duanne Elgin’s commentary on the aspects of a simple life. I especially was intrigued by the stipulation she made between simplicity and poverty. The most striking comment she made was when she said: “Poverty is involuntary and debilitating, whereas simplicity is voluntary and enabling. Poverty is mean and degrading to the human spirit, whereas a life on conscious simplicity can have both a beauty and a functional integrity that elevates the human spirit” (399). Living a life centered around simplicity and finding joy in the little things in life does not mean that one is choosing a life of economic depravity or stress. Our view of a “normal life” is distorted because of the culture we live in that is centered on consumerism and the idea that “more things equal happiness.” Once we let go of this, we can experience the freedom to not have to “keep up with the Joneses” and to live. Simply.
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