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Living With Less: America’s Quest for Simplicity — 12 Comments

  1. hey Owen thanks to you we are building something biger next summer but will probably spend even less time shopping then as we will have a garden and a few animales to cut down on the need to shop. besides i married a woman who hates shopping i think she may be the only one in america.

  2. thanks for making me realize how un-averag our household is. we have 6 people living in a 836 sq ft place. we shop an average of 8 hours a month an i gave a few extra hours to cover online window browsing. we do seem to spend all our time on maintence rather it be dishes and luandry or mowing the lawn.

    • That doesn’t sound American. You have to shop till you drop, don’t you know? The global economy depends on you buying endless crap. /sarcasm

  3. You both make excellent points.

    Purchasing items, in and of itself is not a good or a bad thing.

    It all depends on what is being purchased, the reason it is being purchased, how useful and important the item is to the buyer’s life, and how long the item will be used by the buyer, his family, and the next generation.

    For example: Purchasing healthy organic produce that we may not have the means, skill, or patience to grow ourselves is a very sound and wise purchase. Purchasing quality tools that will provide decades of faithful service is an intelligent investment.

    Purchasing the latest electronic gizmo, such as the latest cell phone, when your older model cell phone works fine and already does everything you need it to do, is getting trapped by the habitual and impulsive consumer culture. That culture perpetuates the lie that the act of shopping itself is a means to happiness or fulfillment. That culture is destructive and built on a lie.

    I offer an alternative to Owen’s statement that may make this concept more clear. Of course, this is just my opinion and interpretation. I’m NOT trying to put words in Owen’s mouth. He clearly can speak for himself.

    “Do what you love to do — “your calling” — and do meaningful, constructive things and the desire to buy things just for the sake of buying things just vanishes.”

  4. Do what you love to do — “your calling” — and do meaningful, constructive things and the desire to buy things just vanishes.

  5. For those interested, Wendy Jehanara Tremayne has an excellent new book out on the shelves right now that has a GREAT perspective on this exact topic.

    The Good Life Lab, Radical Experiments in Hands on Living.

    She talks a lot about living abundantly, in nature, and with nature.

    Not trying to buy abundance, which is actually fostering the opposite of abundance. Trying to buy your way to happiness leads to depletion of resources, exploitation of people, and material possessions with no real value or meaning.

    I’d much rather live abundantly with nature.

    Fun read, and will definitely get you thinking.

  6. The Reply function is not working for me. It’s another server glitch with our web host.

    So anyway, the lesson is to simplify your life and have more time for more meaningful things. Building your own natural home debt free is a big part of the equation.

    See Jay’s comment about homes being confiscated for minor tax infractions.

    • That’s not a server glitch. It’s a feature.

      The government has confiscated your reply function and sold it at auction because you once forgot to put a dime into a parking meter some 35 years ago. Either that, or it was some guy that parked next to you, and they nailed the wrong guy.

      Either way. It’s your fault for not knowing that owed the government money even though they never sent you a bill.

      I wonder what the interest and penalties are on dime, compounded over 35 years?

      That could add up to a sizeable bill. No wonder they took your reply function hostage.

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