[Simple living] reducing one's possessions and increasing self-sufficiency as an affirmation of nonmaterial, interpersonal ecological and community-based values
Something rather magical happens when we start simplifying our lives. Without really trying, many people develop a greater aware-ness of a spiritual self, a sense of their own souls, and a sense of a connection to a spiritual presence larger than themselves. It all makes perfect sense. When you declutter your life of unneeded material possessions, unwanted social commitments, and excessive work related stress, you create a space within yourself for some quiet, for an opportunity for reflection. Solitude and contemplation have long been the gateway to a spiritual life. But spiritual awareness involves more than just having the time to think. Developing this awareness requires a certain frame of mind—a mind that openly seeks knowledge of the inner life. When we live simply, our relationship to the material side of life changes. Rather than being consumed by materialism, we choose to surround ourselves with only those material possessions we truly need or genuinely cherish. Inevitably, this is less than what our North American culture would have us believe is necessary for the "good life." As a result of reducing the role of materialism in our lives, a door opens to the nonmaterial facets of life—relationships, pursuit of artistic and intellectual endeavors, and spirituality.
I share the belief of many of the study participants that we are all somehow connected on a spiritual level. In my view, it is one of life's great mysteries. My efforts to live simply are a reflection of that belief. I want to take only what I need, not because my taking less will necessarily provide greater resources to the truly poor, but out of honor and respect for the people who really do not have enough. This sentiment naturally flows from my belief that we are all one in some mysterious way.
Happiness consists in frequent repetition of pleasure.
I wish you endless dreams and the furious desire to make some of them come true.
I wish you to love what you need to love and forget what you need to forget.
I wish you passions, I wish you silences. I wish you bird songs on waking up and children's laughter.
I wish you to respect the differences of others, because the merit and value of each one is often to be discovered. I wish you to resist the bogging down, the indifference and the negative virtues of our times.
Finally, I wish you never to give up research, adventure, life, love, because life is a magnificent adventure and no reasonable person should give it up without fighting a hard battle.
Above all, I wish you to be you, proud and happy, because happiness is our true destiny.
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The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it.