Voluntary Simplicity Hits The Mainstream

Living intentionally ‘poor’ hits the mainstream. Well, Murdochstream. News.com.au shares the story of Dan Price who lives in a ‘Hobbit hole’ on less than $5,000/year. The story mentions that Dan is no technophobe and has a “mobile phone, iPad and MacBook Air in his Hobbit hole”. Sounds a lot like me – appropriate technology includes my MacBook Air and iPad.

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8 thoughts on “Voluntary Simplicity Hits The Mainstream

  1. Sounds like me too. I am voluntarily poor because I value other things more than money; freedom, simple joy in life, time to myself and the small everyday experiences of solving my own problems and being responsible for myself.

    • Freedom is what I long for. I know that to establish my dream it’s going to require hard work. But at least it will be work that I agree with and is for myself. I am not working in order to pay somebody else to do what I would prefer to do myself. When I started my small business – which I do still love – I did so thinking it would afford me that freedom I aspired to. I was mistaken. It required me to work more than I have ever worked, doing tasks that I didn’t enjoy. It was a job, once more.

      • I know exactly what you mean; I went to work again for two reasons, so I could put my daughters through university and so I could spend my days teaching children how to grow their own food and how to read (two things I value and want to pass on). I have achieved that (almost got both into uni now), but it is a job, in that it has it’s own demands and prices to pay. Work takes me away from the life I want to create and I do long for a simpler, more direct life.

  2. Some would say with a family you. have responsibilities that you must rise fulfill. We work for other people as it allows more freedom, whilst relying on someone else for job security!

    • I question the freedom that work provides. But, I guess, we ought to define freedom. For most it would take on some form of being able to do what you want in life. Work is at odds with this (unless you don’t consider what you do for money, work) as we spend most of our time doing it and by the time we get some ‘freedom’ we are too knackered to do the things we wanted to do, or we can’t afford to as all the money we earned from working so hard is allocated to day-to-day living expenses.

      When I speak of my idea of freedom which includes very little paid work people ask me “But what about holidays, and things, and going to the movies and dinners?” They consider these things to be marks of freedom. I don’t agree. Freedom doesn’t have to cost a cent. I think one ought to ask themselves – what would you prefer, be poor and have oodles of time to do free or cheap things with the copious time you have available; or be well-off and try to fit material hobbies and objects into a limited amount of time (weekends and annual leave)?

      • I know which I prefer, but as Greg pointed out, a family comes with responsibilities. I also am lucky enough to have work I love (most of the time) and see value in. I still aspire to the freedom of lots of time to do what I want, but it will wait until my kids finish uni.

      • Jude and Greg,

        I agree that if one has a family they have responsibilities. Having kids, for instance, is a huge commitment. I rarely broach this topic in my writing, mostly because I don’t have and don’t intend to have ‘a family’. I have a long-term partner, who does factor into these plans, but in a different way. In a way that has me doing my thing, him doing his, and us regrouping from time to time. It may not work – it’s an experiment – but we are too selfish to have it any other way. That’s a good thing, I think. To compromise – to somehow meet in the middle, requiring fundamental changes in both our attitudes and desires – would result in us both being unhappy. A compromise might look like this: us living in the country but within commutable distance from the city, I would have to work more to pay the bills – I couldn’t stand ‘bludging’ off him, – we’d have to get a mortgage of some description and build a house to a higher specification, we’d have to have a TV and a hair drier and a toast and thus a larger solar system… The only compromise that would work would satisfy him more than me. He already has the default position – my desires are to move far from it.

        /whinge

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