Essay – Simple Living
Give an outline of the attitudes to ‘’Simple Living’’ presented in texts 1, 2 and 3. Text 1
The first perspective on the concept ‘’Living Simple’’ is from author Elizabeth Scott, ‘’Simple Living, Recession-Style’’, an article from the website About.com, March 20, 2009. “The idea was to pare down and get rid of all the extra "stuff that we think we need, but don't: extra belongings that clutter our homes, extra activities that pack our schedules to the hilt, extra food that lingers on our waistlines” 1 Living a simple life where you cut down on consumption, work less and make fewer stressful activities can be an alternative to the normal Western lifestyle, where you work hard and spend a lot of hard earned money on food, clothes, traveling and other things. Elizabeth Scott creates a lot of attention on the fact that we’re constantly blind sighted by consumerism. “In getting rid of what doesn't really serve us, we can enjoy what's really important in life’’ 2 The simple life is all about cutting everything away in one’s life that one does not need. The idea of simple lifestyle is that it basically leads to a better and healthier life where we grow our friendships and creativity – and get a better understanding of who we really are. With the economic crisis the world’s people become in need of simpler lifestyles to save money, therefor Elizabeth does not believe that the economic crisis is such a bad thing by all accounts. Given that people are forced to live simpler lives due to their bad economies, they automatically spend more time with their families and friends, and the possibility to start over with less stress and more meaning in their lives. ‘’While the simplicity movement had consisted of people who chose simplicity for its stress- relief and personal-growth benefits, now many people are opting in out of necessity: to save money!’’ 3 So all in all Elizabeth hopes the ‘’Simple living’’ recession will benefit those who are opting in for a simple life because of finances. Even though it’s forced upon the people, she believes the benefits are ultimately the same as for those who choses simplicity for its perks alone (less stress, stronger relationships, and more meaning in life). In this way the economic crisis may actually bring something good with it according to Elizabeth’s theory about ‘’Simple living’’ Text 2
The second perspective on the concept ‘’Simple living’’ is journalist Judith Levine, she talks about her book in which Levine describes how she and her partner made it through a year without buying anything that wasn’t necessary. “If you just look inward, anti-consumerism is, like private consumption, a private enterprise. And that's my objection to it: The way it's constructed, anyway, by a lot of people - not by everyone who's in the Voluntary Simplicity movement or the anti-consumer movement - it's seen as something that you do on your own. You have a private reward and a spiritual reward from it, and that's enough.” 4 Judith has a very skeptical opinion towards the concept ‘’Simple living’’. Levine is tired of the ‘’consumer’’ lifestyle in USA, where Americans place great value and recognition in buying things, she believes this has negative consequences for the environment and causes social inequalities not only in the States but in the whole world. Even though overconsumption is dangerous and part of USA’s identity Levine does not believe consumption makes you morally bad, but for every purchases there are consequences as stated. That’s why she believes that the ‘’Simple living’’ is not just about who can consume the least as an individual, but instead to always consume in the most fuel-efficient, earth-friendly and socially friendly way. It’s obvious that Levine does not agree with ‘’anti-consumerism’’ because the term only focuses on the individuals and not the rest of the world, and she does not believe it’s possible to live outside capitalism, when you live in America....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document