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Simple living


Simple living or voluntary simplicity encompasses a number of different voluntary practices to simplify one's lifestyle. These may include reducing one's possessions, generally referred to as Minimalism, or increasing self-sufficiency, for example. Simple living may be characterized by individuals being satisfied with what they have rather than want. Although asceticism generally promotes living simply and refraining from luxury and indulgence, not all proponents of simple living are ascetics. Simple living is distinct from those living in forced poverty, as it is a voluntary lifestyle choice.

Adherents may choose simple living for a variety of personal reasons, such as spirituality, health, increase in quality time for family and friends, work–life balance, personal taste, frugality, or reducing stress. Simple living can also be a reaction to materialism and conspicuous consumption. Some cite socio-political goals aligned with the anti-consumerist or anti-war movements, including conservation, degrowth, social justice, and tax resistance.

A number of religious and spiritual traditions encourage simple living. Early examples include the Sramana traditions of Iron Age India, Gautama Buddha, and biblical Nazirites (notably John the Baptist). The biblical figure Jesus is said to have lived a simple life. He is said to have encouraged his disciples "to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics." Various notable individuals have claimed that spiritual inspiration led them to a simple living lifestyle, such as Benedict of Nursia, Francis of Assisi, Ammon Hennacy, Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Schweitzer, and Mohandas Gandhi.



  • systematic empowerment of people (as opposed to making and keeping them dependent), as the basis for people-centred development
  • systematic conservation of resources and the environment, as the basis for environmentally sustainable development
  • evolution from a “wealth of nations” model of economic life to a one-world model, and from today's inter-national economy to an ecologically sustainable, decentralising, multi-level one-world economic system
  • restoration of political and ethical factors to a central place in economic life and thought
  • respect for qualitative values, not just quantitative values.
  • Helen and Scott Nearing (1970) The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing's Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living, Schocken
  • Vernard Eller (1973) The Simple Life,
  • Dolly Freed (1978) Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money 2010 edition
  • Duane Elgin (1981, revised 1993 and 2010) Voluntary Simplicity, Harper,
  • Charles Long (1986) How to Survive Without a Salary: Living the Conserver Lifestyle. 1996 edition
  • Wendell Berry (1990) What Are People For?, North Point Press,
  • Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez (1992) Your Money or Your Life, Viking. Your Money or Your Life: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century, published by Penguin Books in December 2008 by Vicki Robin with Monique Tilford and contributor Mark Zaifman.
  • Edward Romney (1992) Living Well on Practically Nothing 2001 edition
  • Janet Luhrs (1997) The Simple Living Guide: A Sourcebook for Less Stressful, More Joyful Living,
  • Deborah Taylor-Hough (2000) A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity, SourceBooks,
  • Amy Dacyzyn (1998) The Complete Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle.,
  • John de Graaf, David Wann and Thomas H. Naylor (2002) Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic,
  • Jacob Lund Fisker (2010) Early Retirement Extreme: A philosophical and practical guide to financial independence,
  • Dave Bruno (2010) The 100 Thing Challenge,
  • Marie Kondo (2014) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,
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Wikipedia

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