Socially conscious people with wealth are uniquely situated to be leaders in the creation of a new "American Dream," one where individual consumption is more in line with a just and sustainable world. Those of us with wealth can sometimes step out of the adoration of consumption more easily than those whose material dreams have never been fulfilled. Because the public assumes that those with big bucks also spend big, living simply can surprise, stimulate, and inspire others who may still imagine riches to be the solution of all problems. .
"A simple life-style is not a panacea. It may be embarked upon for the wrong reasons--out of guilt, as a substitute for political action, or in quest for moral "purity." But it can also be meaningful and significant:
- As an act of faith performed for the sake of personal integrity and as an expression of a personal commitment to a more equitable distribution of the world's wealth
- As an act of self-defense against the mind-polluting effects of our overconsumption
- As an act of solidarity with the majority of humankind, which has no choice about life-style
- As an act of celebration of the riches found in creativity, spirituality, and community with others rather than in mindless materialism."
--from Vision of a World Hungry by Thomas G. Pettepice
If you are interested in taking steps towards simpler living, we encourage you to order:
Simplicity: Notes, Stories and Excercises for Developing an Unimaginable Wealth by Mark A. Burch. New Society Publisher, Philadelphia. 1995. $12.95
The Simplicity Circle by Cecile Andrews. A clear, useful guide for running a nine-session study circle about simple living. The Learning for Life Project 711 N. 60th St. Seattle, WA 98103 (206) 782-5105. $5
Simple Living Quarterly , 2319 N. 45th St. Box 149, Seattle, WA 98103. $14/year.
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