Is Living Simply Still Possible in Today’s World?
We recently got back home from a quick overnight trip to the “big city” (and big city to me means more than 1300 people). During our time there I can’t even count how many times I remarked something along the lines of…”People are moving so quickly!” or “Why are they getting upset over that…can’t they see it’s just stuff?”
I stopped at a few thrift stores and a few big box stores and watched as some left with carts loaded sky high. Of course, I don’t know these people’s situation…maybe they had a whole house to fill or maybe they were buying it for someone else, it’s not for me to judge but it did get my mind working. There’s no doubt we live in an age of materialism.
This prompted me to think about some things on our 4 hour drive home. Is the simple life we are striving to live actually possible in today’s world?
First we have to define what we mean by simple living. That’s not as easy as it sounds since simple living will mean something different to everyone, depending on where you live and what stage of life you are in. My definition of simple living is this:
To live self sufficiently, naturally, minimalistically, and joyfully.
So let’s think about these things for a while…
Is living self sufficiently possible in today’s world?
I think it is, but to an extent. I have no desire to learn to make my own shoes or make my own fabric for clothing and I think that some things like that aren’t really a great idea anyway since they end up costing you more money than they are worth. (I’d rather stockpile things like that if needed.) Self sufficiency is something else to us, it means to be as self sufficient as possible. For my family personally that means to grow as much of our own food as possible, to raise our own meat, and to have simple skills for everyday things which mean we depend less and less on “outside” assistance. Self Sufficiency will look different for everyone depending on where you live and the resources you have available, you may need to be more self sufficient in some areas than others. It’s very possible to live quite self sufficiently in today’s world, as long as you teach yourself the skills you need. You might want to check out this article on Ways Anyone Can Be Self Sufficient.
Is living naturally possible in today’s world?
We happen to live in a world that is filled with more chemicals, preservatives, and un-wanted and un-necessary things than ever. Crops are genetically modified, animals are stuffed with things to make them produce more, and artificial ingredients are added into everything that we eat, wear, and use. Fortunately we also live in an age where knowledge is abundant! There is more and more research being done every day about these ingredients to help us make informed decisions (of course not main stream media, but when is that ever accurate??). Thanks to this info we can choose un-tainted seeds to plant, we can try and purchase clothing and fabric made from natural fibers, we can create our own simple health and body products that don’t need preservatives and chemicals to help them work. Nothing is always going to be perfect, but just because nothing can be perfect doesn’t mean we can’t try for the best possible.
Is living minimalistically possible in today’s world?
While researching this article I looked up the word minimalistically in the dictionary. Here’s what I found:
Well that’s a bit depressing. Materialistically is in the dictionary but the word above is not. What does that say about today’s world? Fortunately it doesn’t have to be the case if you don’t want it to be! We started by getting rid of about 50% of our things when we moved in our camper, then a few months later we had another sale and sold about 50% of what we had left. And now moving into the new house I’m getting rid of a bunch more. It’s much easier to get to the minimalistic lifestyle if you take it slow, you won’t feel like you are missing something and trust me, the more you get rid of the more you will want to keep cleaning out! Our goal is to only have things that we really need and use at least once a week or things that we cannot replace (memory items). That’s all we are keeping.
Is living joyfully possible in today’s world?
With all the death and destruction in today’s world is is possible to still live a joyful life? Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that we simply ignore the things that happen around us, but taking some of it out of the picture will help. Remember when I stopped using my personal Facebook page at the beginning of the year to find other ways to communicate with loved ones? That’s been one of my favorite goals I’ve kept this year so far. I’ve distanced myself from the un-necessary gossip and drama and am connecting deeper with the ones I really care about. It’s truly been a great experience so far and I hope to write more about it in a future post. My point is that we don’t have to go completely Amish, but cutting out as much drama and worldliness in our lives as we can will help reduce our stress and help us to live more joyfully. I also believe that all of the above will help lead to a more joyful life as well.
So, is living simply actually possible in today’s world?
I believe it is. It’s not going to be easy, and no simple life is ever going to be perfect, but it’s still possible…even in the world we are in today.
If you are ready to fully jump into living a simpler lifestyle, check out my new eWorkbook, 31 Days to Simpler Living! In it, you will find 79 pages of daily challenges, info and advice, and printable worksheets and checklists to keep you on track along your journey.
Are you striving to live simply in today’s world? What is your biggest challenge in your personal journey to simpleness?