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Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it's necessary - Emrys Westacott | Aeon Ideas

Benefits of Simple Living

  • Millennials are showing interest in simple living, in pre-consumerist and pre-industrial ways.
  • It seems like a moral way to live and it makes you into a better person.
  • The struggle of living simple and frugal builds up new skill-sets, a certain independence and better health of the mind and body, by being close to nature.

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Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it's necessary - Emrys Westacott | Aeon Ideas

Why the simple life is not just beautiful, it's necessary - Emrys Westacott | Aeon Ideas

https://aeon.co/ideas/why-the-simple-life-is-not-just-beautiful-it-s-necessary

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Key Ideas

Back to The Simple Life

Due to an increasingly complicated and hyper-connected world, a lot of people are revisiting and paying attention to the concept of a simple life.

From Buddha to Socrates and contemporaries like Oprah, many people throughout ages have advocated the slow, mindful, simple life.

Simple Was Boring

In many prosperous, capitalist societies where consumerism, big pharma and supermarket culture is rampant, leading a quiet, simple life is considered boring.

Big Brands continue to persuade everyone to aspire for more and most people fall for that. 

Benefits of Simple Living

  • Millennials are showing interest in simple living, in pre-consumerist and pre-industrial ways.
  • It seems like a moral way to live and it makes you into a better person.
  • The struggle of living simple and frugal builds up new skill-sets, a certain independence and better health of the mind and body, by being close to nature.

Our Last Hope

A simple, frugal living in nature might be our last hope to reverse the effects of industrialization, population growth, polluted oceans, deforestation, plastic waste and extinction of plants and animals.

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Why be a minimalist

Minimalism is a way of eschewing the non-essential in order to focus on what’s truly important, what gives our lives meaning, what gives us joy and value.

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Minimalist living

It’s about getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life.

It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.

The benefits of minimalism
  • It’s more sustainable.
  • It’s easier to organize.
  • It’s lower in stress.
  • It’s less expensive and less debt.
  • It’s less cleaning and maintaining.
  • There’s more room for creating, for loved ones, for peace, for doing the things that give you joy.
  • There’s more time for getting healthy.
Nihilism

Nihilism means "nothing." It is the lack of belief in meaning or substance in an area of philosophy.

  • Moral nihilism argues that moral facts cannot exist.
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Existentialism

Existentialism originates from Soren Kierkegaard and Nietzche. It focuses on the problems produced by existential nihilism. For instance:

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Existentialism emphasizes individual existence, freedom and choice.

Stoicism

Stoicism was popular in ancient Greece and Rome and is practiced by many in high-stress environments.

Stoicism focuses on how to live in a world where things don't go as planned. The idea is to accept all the things beyond your control and to focus on what you can control.

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Simplicity doesn't mean poverty
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It is very misleading to equate simplicity with poverty, even if some spiritual traditions have ...

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Adopting a simple life doesn't require moving into rural areas. In fact, the majority of persons choosing a life of conscious simplicity live in cities and suburbs. 

It is much more accurate to describe this as a "make the most of wherever you are" movement, adapting ourselves creatively to a rapidly changing world in the context of big cities and suburbs.

Beauty in the simple life

The simple life is sometimes viewed as an approach to living that advocates a barren plainness and denies the value of beauty and aesthetics. But rather than a denial of beauty, simplicity liberates the aesthetic sense by freeing things from artificial burdens.

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In part, the new minimalism is a kind of cultural aftershock of the 2008 housing crisis and banking collapse. At the same time, minimalism has become an increasingly aspirational and deluxe way ...

Minimalism for the affluent

Many people have minimalism forced upon them by circumstance. Poverty and trauma can make frivolous possessions seem like a lifeline instead of a burden.

Although many of today's gurus insist that minimalism is useful regardless of income, they target the affluent. The focus on self-improvement is more about accumulation.

Minimalism of ideas

True minimalism is not about throwing things out, but about challenging your beliefs in an attempt to engage with ideas as they are, to not shy away from reality or its lack of answers. 

Underneath the vision of “less” is a mode of living that heightens the miracle of human presence.

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Morality and Religions
  • Believers Of God, both in east and west, believe that good, pious deeds and intentions are rewarded by God; many people do not receive their reward in this life.
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Philosophy Professor Catherine Wilson talks about pleasure being fundamental in our ability to live a good life, and how a fine balance has to be maintained between current pleasure(indulgence) and future pleasure, which is life planning.

If we work ourselves endlessly, trying to hoard wealth, life will be over in a blink of an eye.

Hedonism Reloaded

Apart from a more justified and gender-neutral definition of hedonism, the definition of luxury and pleasure itself is changing. What was once enjoyable seems like a waste of time now, while economic instability and low wages do not allow for a hedonistic lifestyle to be a reality for many of us.

Pleasure seeking needs to be viewed as a positive, life-giving pursuit in these times where everyone is striving hard to make ends meet.

Being Frugal Is Not Cheap

Frugal people do spend money, but want the maximum bang for the buck, without stressing themselves.

Frugality does not mean compromising quality, neglecting your social life, or being a...

Be A Smart Spender
  • Use tools like financial books, podcasts, and online savings groups.
  • Avoid indulging in unnecessary expenses daily, reducing them or finding healthier and more affordable alternatives.
  • Cultivate a healthier attitude and the right mindset towards your finances.
  • Know that small, practical, money-saving actions can compound into better living for you in the long run.
Use Smart Hacks

There are plenty of financial and budgeting tools and apps that can help us manage our funds, keep track of our expenses, and trigger us when we are off-track.

Simple hacks like carrying a debit card or cash instead of a credit card, or deleting our card details from shopping sites can help us avoid spending impulsively.

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