This week’s Friday 2 on 1 blog post title has been suggested by Shackman who claims that he was inspired by our own old geezelle Tammy. She actually is a minimalist and far from a simpleton but, that is word play that I hope she will forgive me for.
Simple Living as per Wikipedia was practiced by Mahatma Gandhi. His contemporary freedom fighter Sarojni Naidu had this to say about that to him. “Do you know how much it costs every day to keep you in poverty?”
I flatter myself that mine is a life on the simple side. That is my perception. Ekoshapu who had visited me for the first time said this about my simplicity. “I, along with my friend, met Ramana Sir on Sunday at his home (mansion would be the right word, considering the super-affluent locality and spacious rooms/garden).” If I were to visit some of my friends who live in more upmarket areas in bigger homes, perhaps I would also say the same thing. The point is that ‘simplicity’ is a matter of perception.
For me, being simple is keeping my wants to the barest minimum and finding simple solutions to life’s problems. For instance, while I can and on occasions do use a car with a driver hired on an hourly basis, I would rather use a cab or an auto-rickshaw to go wherever I need to go as, parking and its attendant problems is always a major constraint. On the other hand, Ekoshapu, being much younger and more agile, uses our very reliable public transport bus system to commute within our city. He finds that simpler. Perhaps had I been his age with my present lifestyle, I would have too. In other words, simplicty can be thrust on us too and often is!
I wonder if in our lifetime we will see a major shift from consumerism to simplicity/minimalism as a natural reaction to the former reaching its limits. A process called Enandriomia. I certainly see many middle class and affluent families opting for the latter and wonder if a snowballing effect will occur. On the other hand, for developing nations like India, aspirational impacts on the poor climbing the economic ladder perhaps, balances such reversals. The next few decades will be interesting to watch.
Not being part of the consumer society is more than enough to have a life of the simple side. I am not tempted to buy unnecessary things with the exception of books. Hopefully, one of these days, even that weakness will drop off like a ripe pumpkin that simply snaps off from the vein.
Do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.
16 thoughts on “Life On The Simple Side.”
Tammy has turned into one of my favorite people on the third rock from the sun. She has me thoroughly hooked on her minimalist lifestyle and her attitude toward life in general. I already no longer view things as wants – if I do not need it I tend toignore it, Because of my eyes my reading material is electronic and takes up very little space; My biggest take away from Tammy’s life style is the richness and fullness you can attain with the minimalist style.
I agree with you about Tammy. She is a great inspiration indeed. Another minimalist who has been one without calling it that among our blogger friends is the Monk and I admire her and her husband Andy for the lifestyle that they have chosen for themselves.
We’ve never bought into consumerism and have always lived in a simple apartment. Snobbish people have called it a “dump”, but I love it and have been very happy here.
Please see my response to Shackman’s comments.
Simplicity is relative, perhaps, on a continuum. If we want to get down to the basics/minimum, all we need is food/nourishment, shelter, clothing. Everything after that is governed by what else we incorporate into our lives. We probably need to take a job to provide those basics. So what is needed to have that employment? Possibly we want more, conclude we need more. Differentiating between wants and needs then requires some judgement. Just how minimal is minimal?
You are right. Perhaps in my verbocity, I have not come out clearly that simplicity is indeed relative. What is simple for one need not be for another. And how minimal is minimal brings us right back to the same conclusion that it is relative.
As you say, simplicity is a matter of perception. I think I have a simple lifestyle, but I live in a large house with all the furniture necessary for a large house. If I tried to cram all that furniture into a much smaller house, it would be impossible. So does that mean I don’t really have a simple lifestyle? Or is it a question of my needs, which are very simple and very cheap – internet access, a TV, a phone, a few CDs and books. Nothing expensive or extravagant. It depends how you define simplicity. And yes, I also admire Tammy’s minimalist approach to life.
I too live in a fairly large home but, I share it with my son and daughter in love and a dog. My personal space is almost austere except for my recliner, the one luxury that I thoroughly enjoy and which enables me to indulge in my vice of reading in comfort. And, yes, you are right. It is all relative and as long as we are not constantly updating/upgrading our needs as most people do, I think we do live simply within the broadest sense of that term.
great scot and cat house Thursday! well. what kind words to find here from you both. if I ever need a lift up I will re-visit this post. where were you guys when I was the total ‘odd man (girl) out!’ all my growing up years? LOL!
all those years I thought there was something WRONG with me. seriously. I knew girls who kept drinking straws from certain dates with a guy tacked up on their bedroom walls! I just didn’t get it. it made me a freaky teenager to question such stuff.
I recently read ‘ Goodbye Things ‘ by Fumio Sasaki. it’s wonderful! I also am of an age that I wouldn’t enjoy sitting on the floor but I read it because it’s so refreshing and appealing to see young people flocking to this lifestyle! he’s calling it ‘the new Japanese Minimalism’ although the tea rooms and the art of tea appealed to me always and their history dates back eons. like you say Rummy… the poor of the world still want things. and that’s ok. unless they can become enlightened and realize they’re already quite rich! whether minimal or not… I will always want a clean modern toilet and a nice shower.
so yes! it’s really all relative isn’t it. to want little is the happiness of it all.
You do realise of course that unlike you, both Shackman and I are anything but minimum is our physical size! Compensation I suppose! But I am glad that you enjoyed our posts.
I suspect I could be minimalist if I didn’t make “art” and be a collector of objects for said subject …On personal needs, I tend to wear things out before I get new things…I have friends who insist on op-type things but I don’t see them as quality – I prefer to spend a larger sum on something that will last me many seasons….
Yes, I expect that you could be. Spending for value rather than for show is a good trait. I do too.
Living simply and reducing the amount of ‘stuff’ in your life is actually a way to decrease stress and find peace. I find that there is very little I need to buy these days—in fact getting rid of stuff has become a bit of an obsession lately!
Almost all my friends and family of around my age are in the same position.
Good point that what is simple for one person might not be for another. Simple living is an individual path. I aspire to it, but am not close. I have really decreased consumerism, so that’s a start.
Fair enough. The difficulty is usually in making a start.
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