more musings on the simple life
I’m not into wearing a second hand hair shirt. I like a certain degree of comfort, good quality food and like having holidays. But I can live without television (though not radio or the internet), most high-tech gadgets, new furniture (my last item was a slightly frayed armchair discarded on the side of the road), fashion, make up and buying new cds and dvds. Its about my own individual list of priorities, not yours. If you want to knit your own dishcloths go ahead, just those uber-frugal housey things don’t turn me on. Though you won’t catch me throwing out an old t-shirt without it having been cut up and done service as a dusting rag first.
Yes I know all you TV viewers ONLY watch the ABC and that has no real ads (sure its not advertising those promos for the ABC shops that somehow convince you that you want to rush out and buy box sets of 20 yo copies of not very funny British comedies)…oh and when you slipped over to the commercial networks for Master Chef you left the room during the ad breaks to google tonka beans or stir the risotto. But the few times I have been somewhere watching television it plants the seed of consumer desire. I started wanting to buy things that I previously didn’t know existed.
But that’s not where I intended this rant to go. I do check out a “frugality” blog from time to time. It has a huge, cult-like following of people who make their own soap, raise chooks and bake bread from scratch. However, it’s the comments that people make that get me back in touch with reality. Sure there are the holier than thous who always begin “well I’ve been living a simpler life than ever…’ (I’m more frugal than you and don’t you forget it!) but there are lots of real people struggling with maxed out credit cards, no funds to retire on and unemployment and I find it instructive to witness their struggles and solutions. However, this recent thread had me vomiting into my muesli.
When Rhonda asked what people were learning from the recession and how they were coping, there was the usual mix of braggers and battlers but these were sprinkled with the “thank god” folk to.
Now if I was on the bare bones of my arse, having lost the job I needed to feed my family and I believed in god (sheesh that’s a big ask) why would I thank my imaginary friend for this situation?
For example one respondent said: “You learn quickly the government will not prop you up you only need God and yourselfs”(sic)
And another said, “It's taught me what's important and what isn't. It's taught me more about trusting God.”
Look people – WE are the ones who are responsible. WE let the banks be driven by profit, deregulated them and gave a get out of jail free card. WE (actually not me and probably not you either, it was those good god fearing folk) are the ones who wanted to pay less tax so voted for governments who sold all the nations assets and cut back on the welfare sector. WE (or you guys again) are the ones who didn’t care about climate change enough so either voted conservative or Labour and dumped a Family First senator on us, rather than the more popular Greens.
Trust god? No examine the role each one of us have played either by apathy or green or sheer ignorance, in creating this situation and do something to rectify it. Get off your knees and be an activist!
What are your thoughts on simplicity?