Live simply so that others can simply live.
The origin of this quote is unconfirmed but it is often attributed it to Mahatma Gandhi. Nevertheless, the phrase is profound and it helps to unpack what ‘simple living’ is all about.
For me simple living is a lifestyle that considers not only my own well-being but the well-being of others. ‘Others’ includes present and future humans, plants, animals and the planet we share.
Several books have influenced my commitment to simple living but the first one to get right under my skin was Affluenza by Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss published in 2005 by Allen and Unwin. It doesn’t hold back in describing the ugly reality of a world obsessed with consumerism.
It compelled me to think more carefully about what I actually need and how I can be a more responsible consumer. It launched me into developing habits around living sustainably, living with less and when buying, choosing fairtrade, ethical and environmentally friendly products.
Simple living can seem daunting at times. We are often time poor and new habits can be hard to form when we are swimming against the tide. But the reward in living simply is deep and lasting. Its foundation is kindness and thankfulness and these two virtues go far to improve our relationships, enhance our health and bring us peace of mind.
Simple living is a ongoing journey and it has taken me on a few steep learning curves. In no way do I claim to be an expert or a success. All I hope to do is work on my own simple living each day and inspire others to do the same. Together we can make a difference.