Simple Living
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The Art of Simple Living


The Art of Simple Living

Simple Living is "living in a way that is outwardly simple and inwardly rich. This way of life embraces frugality of consumption, a strong sense of enviromental urgency, and a desire to return to living and working enviroments which are of a more human scale." (Duane S. Elgin and Arnold Mitchell)

The practice of voluntary simplicity is advocated in the teachings of Jesus, the early Christian Church, St. Paul, St. Francis, and many others. It also has it roots in the teachings of other world religions, the teachings of Gandhi, and the writings of Thoreau. The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers) define simple living as a "non-consumerist lifestyle based on being and becoming, not having."

Seven Reasons for Choosing a Simpler Lifestyle:

1. As an act of intentional living performed for the sake of personal integrity and as an expression of a commitment to a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources.

2. As an act of creation care for ourselves and especially for our children and grandchildren against the earth destroying results of over-consumption such as pollution, climate change, and resource wars.

3. As an act of solidarity with the majority of humankind, which has little choice about material affluence.

4. As an act of celebration of the riches found in God’s creation, and the riches of community with others, rather than in the "poverty" of mindless materialism.

5. As an act of spiritual discipline ordering our lives to reflect the values of simplicity and just living taught by Jesus and teachers in other world religions.

6. As an act of advocacy for changes in present patterns of production and consumption.

7. As an act of provocation (ostentatious under consumption) to arouse curiosity leading to dialog with others about affluence, and sustainable "green" living to redirect the production of consumer goods away from the satisfaction of artificially created wants toward the supplying of goods and services that meet genuine social needs.

(Based on an article by Jorgen Lissner)  




 "Simple living today is joyful, bright, poetic and mentally robust."

from Michael Phillips and Catherine Campbell's Simple Living Investments





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