When someone asks the “what is” question about almost anything theses days, the first place they turn to is often the internet. Because of the wide amount and varied accuracy of information on the web, searches that result in many different types of results often give a better overall picture of what information is available.
If you search for information on simple living, I have found it helpful to broaden my search beyond just “simple living”. I also look for “voluntary simplicity” among other permutations like, “simplifying life” “downsizing your life” and also include areas like personal finance, organic food, mental health. Unfortunately, even though broadening the search beyond the obvious will result in many interesting, alternative sites to look at, I think you will also find the need to sift through a higher than normal number of unrelated results. It is amazing how many people write articles on “simple living” that are only talking about, (as just one example), simplifying the arrangement of high end furniture in a high end home. Simple living has become a very commonly used term, often completely unrelated to the true and original meaning. Someone even told me that there is a TV show called “The Simple Life”. I have never seen it, but I bet it has no relationship to any definition of simple living, common sense or otherwise.
Simple living is a big topic on the Internet these days. A Google search for â€œSimple Livingâ€ turns up over 900,000 results! This Wikipedia entry is a pretty good description of what simple living is. My life is certainly not simple, but I am trying to make some progress towards that end! My interest in simple living is more low key than much of what is described in Wikipedia, but I think it is more in touch with my, and maybe your, busy everyday life.
For a future post, I will pull together and link a few web sites I have found that talk about simple living in way specific to one individual’s life, or area of interest. I think it would be great if the idea of simple living could be expanded and applied to normal everyday lives the way “going green” is starting to be. Have you noticed that you can hardly open a local or national newspaper or magazine these days without seeing a main article about going green? It also sometimes seems like half of the advertisements in magazines refer to the topic. If I was a more cynical person, I might think the emphasis on environment was just the latest fad, but I don’t think that is the case. I really believe the tide is turning in the U.S. on environmental issues, with more focus on what everyday people and businesses can do and less focus on the extreme views on either side that really don’t apply to the majority of us.
I would like to see the ideas of sustainable food and simple living also become more applicable to everyday lives. It can be done, and done with a common sense that allows us all to make contributions without disrupting changes to the routines that make our busy lives run smoothly.