Simplicity Essays | Wisdom Commons

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I am told that, away beyond the Never-Never ranges, there is a church from which the children are excluded before the sermon begins. I wish my informant had not told me of its existence. I am not often troubled with nightmare, my supper being quite a frugal affair. But just occasionally I find myself a victim of the terror by night. And when I am mercifully awakened, and asked why I am gasping so horribly and perspiring so freely, I have to confess that I was dreaming that I had somehow become the minister of that childless congregation. As is usual after nightmare, I look round with a sense of inexpressible thankfulness on discovering that it was only a horrid dream. An appointment to such a charge would be to me a most fearsome and terrifying prospect. I could not trust myself. In a way, I envy the man who can hold his own under such circumstances. His transcendent powers enable him to preserve his sturdy humanness of character, his charming simplicity of diction, his graphic picturesqueness of phrase, and his exquisite winsomeness of behaviour without the extraneous assistance which the children render to some of us. But could not do it. I should go all to pieces. And so, when I dream that I have entered a pulpit from which I can survey no roguish young faces and mischievous wide-open eyes, I fancy I am ruined and undone. I watch with consternation as the little people file out during the hymn before the sermon, and I know that the sermon is doomed. The children in the congregation are my salvation.

Lilabean: A Story of Simplicity for Grown-up Girls by K.C. White ( Elizabeth City, NC: Bean Pot Press, 2002). A delightful storybook written in verse detailing one woman's evolution from being overwhelmed with clutter and not enough time to creating a life of simplicity and joy. This book would be a great gift for a woman friend who is simplifying her life.

Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics: Lifestyles for Self-Discovery by Marsha Sinetar (New York: Paulist Press, 1986). Presents real life stories of people who have explored their inner selves as part of the process of becoming whole. While the book does not focus specifically on voluntary simplicity, most of the people featured live simply.

Thesis statement simplicity william zinsser: disease, which is associated with the university of california at san

Voluntary simplicity, or simple living, is a post-consumerist living strategy that rejects the materialistic lifestyle of consumer culture and affirms what is often just called ‘the simple life,’ or ‘downshifting.’ The rejection of consumerism arises from the recognition that ordinary western consumption habits are destroying the planet; that lives of high consumption are unethical in a world of great human need; and that the meaning of life does not and cannot consist in the consumption or accumulation of material things. Extravagance and acquisitiveness are accordingly considered an unfortunate waste of life, not so much sad as foolish, and certainly not deserving of the social status and admiration they seem to attract today. The affirmation of simplicity arises from the recognition that very little is needed to live well – that abundance is a state of mind, not a quantity of consumer products or attainable through them.

Zinsser's essay on Simplicity as an example of good writing

Simplicity traditionally emphasizes God as profoundly unlike created beings. Classical philosophical theology frequently approaches divine predication using negative theology. God is seen as profoundly unknown as he is in himself. Much of what can be affirmed about God expresses what God is not, and in general how unlike and beyond created things God is. This preserves a sense of God’s infinite ontological distance from creatures. It also ensures predicates are not applied as if categories used for persons and everyday objects apply in roughly the same way to God.

The Economics of Simplicity: Review Essay (series)

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In addition to the classic logistic problem of supplying a moving army with large quantities of food water and ammunition, the tanks also required large amounts of fuel and spare parts, and this problem greatly intensified for the Germans as the war progressed and crippled their armor. Later German tanks, the Tiger and King Tiger, were very technically complex and consumed much more fuel than the earlier Panzers, and so many of them were stuck or even lost because of technical faults and lack of fuel, not by enemy fire. So Blitzkrieg demanded not just tanks but also that they will be highly reliable, have long range, and be properly accompanied by a following mobile fleet of support vehicles of all types. The Germans neglected that less glorious side of war and paid heavily for that. At the later stages of the war the Russian army improved its mobile logistical support so much that its tank units could advance hundreds of miles almost non-stop, sometimes even refueling on the move, and of course relying on the very high technical reliability and simplicity of their vehicles.

Simplicity Essays Kindle Edition Joshua Fields Millburn

As the globalization of western consumption habits pushes our planet towards the brink of environmental collapse, as evidence mounts that consumer culture has failed to fulfill its promise of a better life, and at a time when three billion of our fellow human beings still live in the darkness of poverty amidst plenty, one may be forgiven for thinking that there is a certain inescapable logic to pursuing a way of life that is ‘outwardly simple, inwardly rich.’ Yet, from earliest childhood onward, first upon somebody’s knee, then through lessons ratified by polite society, we are educated into a materialistic form of life that squarely contradicts that of voluntary simplicity. What is more, it seems we are forbidden to admit this.

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Essays and Poems and "Simplicity," a Comedy by Mary W Montagu, Mary Wortley Montagu, Robert Halsband (Editor) starting at

And it is for this reason that the idea of voluntary simplicity gives me such hope, because it shows (although perhaps this is obvious) that the power to change the world ultimately lies in the hands of ordinary people. It is a reminder that, in the end, the nature of a society is the product of nothing more or less than the countless number of small decisions made by private individuals.

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When a whole society is geared towards producing and then consuming ever-more consumer products, it can be very difficult for people to live and think differently, even for those of us who want to. As I see it, there is no easy, silver-bullet, solution to this problem. But one step that can be taken is to dedicate more of our attention to exploring alternatives, and that was one motivation I had for writing and publishing this essay. Obviously, just reading and talking about voluntary simplicity is not enough to change our lives and our society, but I am convinced that it is an important and perhaps necessary first step. In a world such as ours, focused so intently on making money, it is important that we occasionally take time to step back and ask ourselves, ‘What is money is for?” and “What is our economy for?” For when we ask ourselves these questions, it quickly becomes apparent that the meaning of life does not and cannot consist in the consumption and accumulation of material things. There is more to life than desiring big houses, new carpet, fine clothing, expensive cars, and luxurious holidays, etc. There is freedom from such desires.