Sunday, 6 July 2008

Voluntary simplicity

Voluntary simplicity: Living and having more with less

"Simple living (or voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle individuals choose to minimize the 'more-is-better' pursuit of wealth and consumption. Adherents choose simple living for a variety of reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in 'quality time' for family and friends, stress reduction, conservation, social justice or anti-consumerism. Others choose it for personal taste, personal economy or as participating in sustainable development.

According to Duane Elgin, "we can describe voluntary simplicity as a manner of living that is outwardly more simple and inwardly more rich, a way of being in which our most authentic and alive self is brought into direct and conscious contact with living."

Simple living as a concept is distinguished from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice. Although asceticism may resemble voluntary simplicity, proponents of simple living are not all ascetics. The term "downshifting" is often used to describe the act of moving from a lifestyle of greater consumption towards a lifestyle based on voluntary simplicity."

Source: Wikipedia (

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What is voluntary simplicity?

Voluntary simplicity means doing/having/living more with less--more time, meaning, joy, satisfaction, relationships, community; less money, material possessions, stress, competition, isolation. It doesn't mean depriving yourself; it doesn't mean buying "cheap" and always pinching pennies; it doesn't mean poverty. It does mean wanting what you have, and finding joy in having less; and recovering the connection with other people and with the Earth that alone makes life really worthwhile.


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