Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Voluntary Simplicity

The movement for voluntary simplicity (or simple living) is still somewhat under the radar, but it is growing in strength. The basic philosophy is to "downshift" from a high-pressure, high-cost lifestyle to one that is more spiritual, humble, and less materialistic.

For example, a person who is practicing voluntary simplicity may give up a large, expensive "McMansion" to move into a smaller home that needs less energy to heat in the winter and cool down in the summer. Instead of driving a luxury car to work at a distant office requiring a long commute, a worker might take a cut in pay to work closer to home or telecommute. Then, instead of needing to spend large amounts of money on gas and car payments, public transportation or bicycling could be used for travel.

Critics of voluntary simplicity suggest that it requires too much "sacrifice" and as such, is unappealing and counter to the "American Dream." Others hint that simple living could hurt the American economy, which is dependent on consumer spending to run effectively.

Yet, for those who practice voluntary simplicity, the rewards can be more free time, better family relations, and an enhanced spirituality.

Enjoy the entire article which includes a segment on Simple Ways You Can Enjoy Simple Living.

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