Less is More
Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska
Less is More is a collection of writings on the themes of simplicity and reducing consumption. The list of contributors includes Duane Elgin, Dave Wann, Ernest Callenbach, Linnea Johnson, Sarah Susanka, Jay Walljasper, Bill McKibben, and many others.
The title says it all. Many of us are frantically piling up more stuff in the mistaken belief that doing so will make us happier.
We work long hours to pay for stuff, struggle to finance and maintain larger boxes (called houses) in which to store our stuff, and then find that we don't have the time to enjoy it. Many of us have stuff we've forgotten we possess.
Sometimes it seems that instead of owning our stuff, our stuff owns us. The excess becomes a burden, and getting rid of it is a release.
Of course, getting rid of stuff - or better yet, not accumulating it in the first place - is a threat to our current economic system. There is no shortage of folks who are ready to argue that the only alternative to our current lifestyle is a return to caves. Usually, these are the self-interested bleatings of people who are in the business of making, advertising, and selling stuff.
Of course, their claims constitute a false and absurd notion. There are many possible gradations between abject deprivation and overstuffed opulence, and there is no reason to think the extremes are the only choices. Indeed, simplicity needn't involve sacrifice.
The more likely outcome is more time spent doing meaningful things, and increased connection with others and the earth. If that's sacrifice, I'll take it.