Monday, 2 August 2010

Working out 'simple'

I am in a bit of a funk at the moment as to what 'simple' means to me. I want to really knuckle down to setting goals (which has never been my forte - I'm more of a go with the flow type of gal). 'Simple living' means many things to many different people. One of the maxims I have come across frequently is 'focus on what is important to you' - but this may be a very different lifestyle from the Amish simple lifestyle, if say, training to be an astronaut is my passion. To some people simple living means spending less (but not necessarily consuming less), to others it means living and working in a minimalist environment and to still others, complete self sufficiency.

Yesterday I was reacquainted with the phrase 'Live simply, so that others may simply live'. I like it. I think I have found the definition of simplicity that I want to embody everyday of my life. I need to start using my fair share of the resources available, so that others may have theirs too. I need to recognise when I have 'enough', when having more adds nothing to my experience, or even detracts from it.  It is hard to do in a culture that doesn't realise there is a broken connection between its brain and its belly, resulting in a hunger that can never be sated. For all my good intentions I give in to temptation on a daily basis.

I spent a fruitless few hours yesterday surfing the web for what exactly my 'fair share' looks like. I think that I had hoped  that somebody had made a pie chart of resources and how much of each a person could consume every year. No such luck. The closest anyone has come is the ecological footprint calculator which tells you how many Planet Earths would be required if everyone lived like you. There are a few out there and they all give slightly different results. If you live in the 'West', chances are they are well above 1 (the UK average is 3 - and I am guessing that we aren't the worst). My own footprint comes out at 2.25. That's not my fair share and I have some work to do.

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