Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A vision for simplifying one's life

If we are to successfully turn back the tide on global climate change, those of us who are used to living on much must learn how to radically cut back on our consumption.  This is the starting point for Ted Trainer's article "Your delightful day: The benefits of life in the simpler way", produced by the Simplicity Institute.

Mr. Trainer has a vision of a world in which people would have considerably more leisure time as their dwellings diminished in size and they learned additional skills and how to live cooperatively in a small interdependent community. He envisions..."The town's resilience will be a function of the number of its people who can make and grow and do and fix many things. It will not depend much on high credentialed specialized experts, professionals, let alone on corporations or government bureaucracies."

For this to be successful the town's people will have to have a different orientation than what is common in a capitalistic society. "The dominate orientation will have to be giving and not getting, and people will have to derive satisfaction from caring, helping, seeing others and their town thrive - and knowing that the more they do of all these things the richer their own lives will be."

Wow, quite a vision isn't it?  I wonder how many small communities there around the world that already exemplify such a vision?  Seems odd to think that progress and sustainability might require 'advanced' nations to learn from those 'less advanced', as they seek to develop skills which may have already been lost from generations previous. The way many aboriginal people lived, in harmony with nature, may indeed be a more sustainable lifestyle than our current consumer culture.

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