SIMPLE LIVING CORNER
One of the least understood steps to nonviolence is the aspect of "simple living." Gandhi said, "live simply that other’s might simply live." But how do we today comprehend and manifest that commitment. We will be exploring some of these ideas in the months to come.
"- Simple living — aka voluntary simplicity — has just about as many definitions as there are individuals who practice it. Simple living is not about living in poverty or self-inflicted deprivation. Rather, it is about living an examined life — one in which you have determined what is important, or "enough," for you, discarding the rest. "
Duane Elgin, author of Voluntary Simplicity
In 2002, 100 Nobel Prize winners warned that "The most profound danger to world peace in the coming years will stem not from the irrational acts of states or individuals but form the legitimate demands of the world’s dispossessed."
To better understand this concept and the relationship of simple living to the issues of nonviolence, I suggest you follow the link below.
What if the world’s population were shrunk to 100 people?
A compassionate simplicity means feeling a bond with the community of life and drawn toward a path of reconciliation — with other species and future generations as well as, for example, between those with great differences of wealth and opportunity. A compassionate simplicity is a path of cooperation and fairness that seeks a future of mutually assured development for all.
A Meditation and Prayer from Renaissance Unity (www.renaissanceunity.org)
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed."
I am not afraid to ask myself tough questions and I am not afraid to change.
Some questions are hard to live with it seems, because the answers are elusive or require a change of heart or mind.
It seems easier not to think about those kinds of questions.
I have been wondering when You might plant an idea in my mind that would lead me to write this prayer and send it out.
An idea or a series of them have come, ideas that have become questions.
Questions that are hard to think about.
Questions about greed and the reality that this nation is becoming a land of those who have a lot and those who are just getting by.
Questions about huge corporations who make incredible billions of dollars in profit and simultaneously reduce wages and benefits for millions of workers in the name of being competitive.
Questions about the few in our land who are rich beyond imagination and the millions of people who are barely getting by and who cannot afford health care.
Questions about the constant spin that lulls so many of us to sleep.
Questions about why some who publicly proclaim to be in relationship with You do not seem to live Your simple message of loving one another and caring for the oppressed and poor.
God, am I way off track here?
Either I am missing something, or things seem very out of balance.
If I am off base, help me understand.
If I am seeing things as You want me to, help me to know what I can do.
It seems to me that the real threat to our democracy and way of life is greed.
Help me to ask myself the tough questions.
Help me live a life of honesty and integrity.
Grant me the courage to live the answers to the tough questions.
Open my eyes to Your truth and my heart to Your ways.
Friday, Sept. 22, 2006
When hearing about simple living, many people find themselves initially responding out of guilt. They don’t understand that the vast majority of people who choose to live more simply do so, not out of a feeling of sacrifice; but rather, they are seeking deeper sources of satisfaction than a high stress, consumption-obsessed society can ever provide.
In the search for satisfaction, people committed to simple living are not only "downshifting" or pulling back from the rat race, they are also "upshifting" or moving ahead into a life that is, though materially more modest, rich with family, friends, community, creative work in the world, and a soulful connection with the universe. So ultimately simple living grants a sense of freedom that our consumptive culture can not provide.
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