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"Why I Chose the Simple Life"

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  • "Why I Chose the Simple Life"

    One of the best articles I've ever read in regards to living simply. Very beautiful. Enjoy:

    Why I Chose the Simple Life
    "The mountains are calling and I must go."
    --John Muir


    "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
    --Tommy Caldwell


    ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
    --Hyperlithic

  • #2
    I don't know if i'd go as far as this fellow, but living in NZ taught me a lot about how simply I want to live, and DH and I work diligently to create that simplicity.

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    • #3
      I don't really agree with the logic such as:
      "Is a faucet with hot water coming out of it really that valuable? Just look at what a person has to do just to have this convenience. First you have to have some money to buy the fixtures, the water heater, the fuel, etc. This requires a job. To have a job, one needs transportation, such as a car. The car requires fuel, maintenance and insurance. To pay for this requires more money or a loan, which demands full time employment. Then there are the requirements on the job such as a nice wardrobe, time restrictions, and extra costs for daycare, commuting hassle…it goes on and on. All because we want hot water to come out of the faucet!"

      If you find a job you enjoy, then hot water hardly requires back breaking labour on your part. I've also never been in debt, nor do I ever plan to. I don't spend more money than I have. I've had people comment that my bedroom looks like a prison room;presumably because there is nothing in it but books.
      I already consider myself living 'simply' and non-materialistic and paying for electricity etc doesn't bother me.
      http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AMonkey View Post
        I don't really agree with the logic such as:
        "Is a faucet with hot water coming out of it really that valuable? Just look at what a person has to do just to have this convenience. First you have to have some money to buy the fixtures, the water heater, the fuel, etc. This requires a job. To have a job, one needs transportation, such as a car. The car requires fuel, maintenance and insurance. To pay for this requires more money or a loan, which demands full time employment. Then there are the requirements on the job such as a nice wardrobe, time restrictions, and extra costs for daycare, commuting hassle…it goes on and on. All because we want hot water to come out of the faucet!"

        If you find a job you enjoy, then hot water hardly requires back breaking labour on your part. I've also never been in debt, nor do I ever plan to. I don't spend more money than I have. I've had people comment that my bedroom looks like a prison room;presumably because there is nothing in it but books.
        I already consider myself living 'simply' and non-materialistic and paying for electricity etc doesn't bother me.
        That's exactly where I stopped reading because that logic is ridiculous

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        • #5
          I'm not hardcore one way or the other.

          I like cynicism:
          Cynicism (Greek: κυνισμός) is a school of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics (Greek: Κυνικοί, Latin: Cynici). For the Cynics, the purpose of life was to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. As reasoning creatures, people could gain happiness by rigorous training and by living in a way which was natural for humans, rejecting all conventional desires for wealth, power, sex, and fame. Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.
          Cynicism (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          I also like indulging, and many vapid philosophies support that side.

          I think you have to be cynical to keep your sensitivity to good stuff, and you have to indulge in order to feel some of the good stuff.

          But strip it all down, and I would still be happy full cynical. That's the pleasant roughness of life, and the more you enjoy, the more you succeed, which means you have more to enjoy.

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          • #6
            Thanks for posting the article which I found both irritating and thought provoking.

            Some of it does gel with me - abhorrance of debt, learning to be content with the necessities of life, to appreciate nature and to value people over possessions.

            It's a pity it cost him his marriage and health till he figured that out and that his children have evidently not "caught" the same values but evidently feel deprived in some ways. I also think it's also a shame that he has found no meaningful work that contributes to society but would rather withdraw and work only for his own survival.

            Blitzing the mortgage has been the one thing my dh and I did that has given us the greatest freedom in our life. This has also given me the motivation to prune back on some other things in order to simplify my life and I've never regretted any of those decisions either.

            Choosing to eat only wholesome foods is another discipline that while it creates work in some respects - learning to spend time to grow shop and cook more wisely - has benefits that more than make up for it in terms of health, energy, satisfaction and enjoyment in life.
            Annie Ups the Ante
            http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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            • #7
              I like the way the whole faucet conundrum and the difference between simplicity and deprivation are described, or alluded to, here:

              There was another spring at the base of the cliff, under another overhang - Ojo Jarido. I liked that name. It was a rather large pool, kept cool by the shade of the overhanging cliff and the fresh cold water dripping out of the rock. Two layers of fencing kept the cows away from the main pool, somebody had rigged a pipe to a cattle watering tub 100 yards away. Ojo Jarido was another oasis, another secret of the desert. I was sure that ancient inhabitants must have seen it as a holy place - the earth giving water - the earth giving life, allowing life. Surely, the earth was important above all things to them, it must have been respected and loved. I was sorry that so many people had lost that connection - who could love a faucet?
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                "Is a faucet with hot water coming out of it really that valuable? Just look at what a person has to do just to have this convenience. First you have to have some money to buy the fixtures, the water heater, the fuel, etc. This requires a job. To have a job, one needs transportation, such as a car. The car requires fuel, maintenance and insurance. To pay for this requires more money or a loan, which demands full time employment. Then there are the requirements on the job such as a nice wardrobe, time restrictions, and extra costs for daycare, commuting hassle…it goes on and on. All because we want hot water to come out of the faucet!"
                I enjoy hot water, my car and a nice wardrobe. Different strokes for different folks.

                http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
                Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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                • #9
                  Yeah, the work part is the main thing I disagreed with. I love my work in physical therapy and am hoping to move on to do something involving emergency medicine. If I don't help people in some way, I feel like I'm being lazy and not contributing. But for the most part, I loved what the author had to say.
                  "The mountains are calling and I must go."
                  --John Muir


                  "I don't know what's wrong with me, but I love this shit."
                  --Tommy Caldwell


                  ‎"Think like a geek. Eat like a hunter. Train like a fighter. Look like a model. Live beyond."
                  --Hyperlithic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I read an article today in an old Tricycle magazine (buddhist), where the writer asserted that buddhists often contemplate on the issues of their necessities: food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. They focus on two aspects: their actual consumption (is it over/under?) and the cost of their consumption (even if it is just right, understanding the interconnectedness of all things and how you "tax" the whole system is relevant).

                    I think this makes for a powerful approach. Each person may find their needs are unique, but coming to it conscientiously is the key, really.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks for sharing this article.

                      It reminds me of how much we take for granted.

                      When we lived in rural India, we burned our trash because there's no organized trash collection. That really made me aware of what we were consuming-- hardly any plastic bags, reused containers, used only towels, and just avoided buying too much stuff. Takeout was wrapped in banana leaves. Dried goods from the store was wrapped in newspaper. I handwashed clothes, so we owned just enough.

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                      • #12
                        I am all for simplifying life. But, while reading these observations, all I could think of we call this kind of dude a bum or a hippie. For all his banter and such, he doesn't acknowledge that his most awesome BELL house had to cost something. He has a website, so someone is dishing out money for something, like the electricity, computer, Internet access, unless he is taking from others who have the dreaded "job".

                        He sounds like the guy who was all about protecting the harmless, sweet bears, then got eaten for his trouble.

                        More power to him and his Donna. I am glad that they enjoy their BELL and their time with mother Earth.

                        Does society as a whole (here in the US) have too much stuff, debt, and still feel the need for more, absolutely. Should we all chuck it for the Grizzly Adams lifestyle? That's a personal choice, and frankly, not mine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                          I am all for simplifying life. But, while reading these observations, all I could think of we call this kind of dude a bum or a hippie. For all his banter and such, he doesn't acknowledge that his most awesome BELL house had to cost something. He has a website, so someone is dishing out money for something, like the electricity, computer, Internet access, unless he is taking from others who have the dreaded "job".

                          He sounds like the guy who was all about protecting the harmless, sweet bears, then got eaten for his trouble.

                          More power to him and his Donna. I am glad that they enjoy their BELL and their time with mother Earth.

                          Does society as a whole (here in the US) have too much stuff, debt, and still feel the need for more, absolutely. Should we all chuck it for the Grizzly Adams lifestyle? That's a personal choice, and frankly, not mine.
                          BINGO! Good for him, but no thanks. We run two businesses from our home, we keep our businesses lean and mean - mostly due to technology. We provide valuable services to others. We waste little. I have an elderly mother who lives with us and who we take care of. We have only our mortgage as debt - not much longer, we're paying cash for kids' college, give generously where we see fit, and don't need to live in a crate to do it. We also like to travel and experience things, and that cannot be done without some $ coming in. Sometimes there are struggles, but that's life. I like a good challenge every now and then, and I also like hard work. I just like it. It's how I grow and learn.

                          I do think he's right in that often people get on the treadmill of modern life. If you're really unhappy with your lot in life, you need to take control of it and chart a new course and live on your own terms. My terms are nothing like his, though.
                          God bless him.

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                          • #14
                            we're like you, applegirl, but younger (young son -- whom we also homeschool), and are setting ourselves up financially to help our elders as we go.

                            i'm always looking to see where I can get "leaner and meaner" but I'm not giving up to the point of going without certain things. And it's ok to acquire them in a variety of ways -- so long as they are ethical (that's my POV anyway).

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                            • #15
                              I prefer a nice balance - Hot water of course, some 'extravagances', but a nicely pared down lifestyle that allows for spontaneity, travel, and less hectic change/revamping when your heart leads you to do that. I'll get there eventually...

                              It would be amazing to have everything pared down/distilled to the point where I could throw a pack on my back and go forth into the world, but I still want to have a decent 'home base' to launch from.
                              Eat like a Beast, feel like a Beast!
                              Eat from a huge bag of processed junk... Well... You know.

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