Definition: Simple Living
Simple living (or voluntary simplicity) is a lifestyle in which individuals consciously choose to minimize the ‘more-is-better’ pursuit of wealth and spidermanunlimitedhackcheatz consumption. Adherents choose simple living for a variety of reasons, including spirituality, health, increase in ‘quality time’ for family and friends, stress reduction, conservation, social justice or anti-consumerism, while others choose to live more simply for reasons of personal taste or personal economy.
Simple living as a concept is distinguished from those living in forced poverty, as hungry shark world cheats tool it is a voluntary lifestyle choice. Although asceticism may resemble voluntary simplicity, proponents of simple living are not all ascetics. The term “downshifting” is often used to describe the act of moving from a lifestyle of greater consumption towards a lifestyle based on voluntary simplicity.
From the 2nd millennium BC various Hindu groups in the Eastern world had established a voluntarily simplified spiritual lifestyle. This practice continued with various Abrahamic and Buddhist religious movements in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Abraham, Moses, Gautama Buddha, John the Baptist, Jesus, and Muhammad all practised simple living, and many of their teachings recommend that their followers do likewise. Various notable individuals have claimed that spiritual inspiration led them to a simple living lifestyle, such as Francis of Assisi, Ammon Hennacy, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi.
Epicureanism, based on the teachings of the Athens-based philosopher Epicurus, flourished from about the fourth century BC to the third century AD. Epicureanism upheld the untroubled life as the paradigm of happiness, made possible by carefully considered choices and avoidances. Specifically, Epicurus pointed out that troubles entailed by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it. He therefore concluded that what is necessary for happiness, bodily comfort, and life itself should be maintained at minimal cost, while all things beyond what is necessary for these should either be tempered by moderation or completely avoided.
In North America, religious groups including the Shakers, Mennonites, Amish, and some Quakers have for centuries practiced lifestyles in which some forms of wealth or technology are excluded for religious or philosophical reasons. For more information about Quaker simplicity see Testimony of Simplicity.
Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist, utopian and author, is often considered to have made the classic non-sectarian statement advocating a life of simple and sustainable living in his book Walden (1854).
George Lorenzo Noyes, a naturalist, mineralogist, development critic, writer and artist, is known as the thoreauvian of Maine. He lived a wilderness lifestyle, advocating through his creative work a simple life of sustainable living and his spiritual reverence for nature.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, a number of fairly prominent modern authors articulated both the theory and practice of lifestyles of this sort, among them Gandhian Richard Gregg, economists Ralph Borsodi and Scott Nearing, anthropologist-poet Gary Snyder, and utopian fiction writer Ernest Callenbach. Richard Gregg wrote a book entitled The Value of Voluntary Simplicity (1936) and many decades later Duane Elgin wrote the highly influential book Voluntary Simplicity (1981). There are eco-anarchist groups in the pokemon go cheats tool United States and Canada today promoting lifestyles of simplicity. In the United Kingdom, the Movement for Compassionate Living was formed by Kathleen and Jack Jannaway in 1984, to spread the vegan message and promote simple living and self-reliance as a remedy against the exploitation of humans, animals, and the Earth.
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