Shaun Groves has been blogging about simplicity lately, talking about why to live simply and things they’ve done to live simply. It’s encouraging because I’ve had similar thoughts rolling around in my head lately (though haven’t taken a lot of action on it). A lot of external sources have been encouraging it, of which Shaun is only the latest, ranging from Shane Claiborne to the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07 to our rummage sale to our whole adoption process.
Some of it comes from very basic ideas, like trying not to be wasteful. Things like electricity and water and food are cheap right now (a few years ago you could add gasoline to that list, and I’d say it’s still relatively cheap) and we just waste them because they are cheap. It’s evidenced when we leave the lights on or let the water run or throw food away.
Part of my motivation is money: Spending less on stuff makes our adoption more affordable. It also makes it easier to help others and be more generous. It also means I don’t have to work as hard (one of the benefits—and scary things—about being self employed). That’s why we canceled our Netflix subscription. It’s why we probably won’t renew our cell phone contract. It’s why we only have one car.
Of course some things about living simply I have a hard time with. Water is a lot simpler and cheaper (and healthier) than Pepsi, but I have a hard time making that choice. And when I try to eat something cheaper and healthier, that craving for something tasty kicks in.
In short, I’m a long way from living simply. But I’m starting to become aware of the need for it and trying to figure out how to overcome my own addictions and compulsions. We get so busy and all these things begin to consume our lives, but we forget how few of them are necessary and how much could be accomplished without them.