You may have heard the saying “Live simply so others may simply live,” which is attributed to Ghandi. It has also been a popular slogan for back to nature, social justice and voluntary simplicity movements. But how often do we really think about what it means? Do we even care?
Do we stop and think about the real cost of our creature comforts, luxuries and “necessities” that many people can’t even imagine having? Do we think of the cost to the environment? To the disproportionate amount of the world’s natural and financial resources consumed by the U.S. and other “developed countries?” To the workers who produce consumer goods?
Bob and I have never been about “things” or being the first to own the biggest and the best. We try to live simply, but even we have to clean out the clutter and get rid of the excess from time to time.
We have recently been called to an even simpler way of life when we could not find a mechanic willing to repair our very old car. After a minute of panic and anger we began to realize that we really could live without a car. Once we made the decision to let it go and not replace it we felt an immediate peace come over us.
It has been six months now and we are still learning, but we are getting along quite well. We live seven miles from town but fortunately in our area we have a door to door public transportation service. At our age we can go into town for a charge of $1 each way. We use it for doctor appointments, shopping trips and any business we need to take care of in town. We have also discovered internet shopping and home delivery which provides much needed jobs in our area. I think I could get used to pizza delivery. 😉 I also bought a collapsible shopping cart for trips to the nearby Dollar store. So instead of spending most of my money at a big box store I spread it around a little more.
Of course it doesn’t always work smoothly. In the early days a neighbor rushed Bob to the dentist when the van didn’t show up. The van service is still not always as dependable as we need, but I have a list of numbers in my phone for people who have offered rides in case of an emergency.
When we gave up our car we gave up a lot of headaches and worry. We also gave up some bills which helped balance out our budget.
Of course other people do not understand. And it would not work for everybody. We could not do this if we did not have the Pelivan and some of the other services available here. But for us, this deeper step into the simple life has made life much less complicated and more enjoyable.
What have you given up or would be willing to give up to live a simpler way of life? Let’s talk!