Whereas the Lord tells us to sell, we buy instead and accumulate. – St. Cyprian of Carthage (c 210-258)
I got a second chance at life. I am not going to waste it on a big house and a new car every year and a bunch of friends who want a big house and a new car every year. – Larry Darrell in the Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
1. Do not buy books about living a simpler life: There is nothing better than going to a bookstore and seeing all the $20 books about simplifying your life in 7 easy steps. I just want to laugh a little too loudly that there is an entire marketing machine cranking out products that we feel compelled to buy about simplification. The simple thing is to not buy a book about scaling back. Thinking about the quote above led me to search “simplify” at Amazon.com. I narrowed the search to just the book department. The search engine found 201,884 results. Ha! Surely by now someone has written the book on simplifying and we can stop publishing all those other books.
2. There is no need to subscribe to a magazine about organizing your magazines: “Real Simple,” a magazine geared towards “busy women looking to make life easier,” began in March 2000 and is a huge hit. The magazine currently reaches 8.6 million readers every month. It is clear that people want to simplify, to live simpler lives. But a magazine subscription about having a more organized kitchen and closet is not enough.
There are 2 battles we must win in order to live simpler lives:
- We need to own less
- We need to want less
It is the fasting season of preparation for the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s also fast from wasting time, money and food. We need to share all of our stuff and let go of our possessions. A practical piece of advice I picked up somewhere is that we should give away everything that we have not worn or used in the past year. The first step on the Ladder of Divine Ascent is to renounce a worldly life for a heavenly one. The second rung on the ladder is detachment. Being free from our attachment to things and from the opinions of others puts us the path to a simple life.
What do you think?