Shopping mall in Toronto, 2008 (photo by Benson Kua)
Living a Simple Life
My Swedish friend, Absinthia, has kindly agreed to have another conversation with me for this blog. In 2011, we posted an 8-part series of emails, starting here. The current series is about living a simple life, and I think you'll enjoy her perspective.
I have been thinking about you a lot, lately, and I hope we can have another conversation--this time about simple, basic living. As humans, we must start making the transition. Global warming is happening faster than we expected, and we’ve just got to take swift, major steps to correct the way we are living on this Earth.
I wanted to think if I have something to say and share about simple living, and I think I do :-) We have been living a small simple life for some years now so I have learned quite a lot, remembered lessons my granny and grandfather taught me, read some, heard some, realised some and thought some too ;-)
I am now a teacher fiber crafts, and I also do commission work. It may sound strange, but I am much happier and feel physically much better now, even though we have approximately a third as much money as we did before.
I hear and read that many people think that Christmas is a very stressful time. I think that may be because they are focused on the material stuff “Buying, buying, buying!!!” instead of making an experience “let´s have a lovely holiday together: read, tumble around in the snow, and drink hot cocoa!”
And this is the core of the climate-disaster in the making, don´t you think? If we stop the “buying, buying, buying,” then the big businesses cannot enslave the poor countries into child labour, and then the international traders will no longer get rich from all those poisonous mass-producing industries that contaminate the water and the earth, and all the cheap stuff will no longer be transported hence and forth, bought by us and then hardly get any use before we exchange it with some new cheap bad-quality stuff, and then get thrown away at the junk heaps everywhere.
We have completely stopped buying Christmas gifts. We buy trees in an agroforestry-project and send their gift-cards as Christmas cards :-) It saves the earth and gives the growers and their families a way to support themselves. I am happy to have found such a nice project to support. We have supported them for more than 10 years now :-D
The conversation is continued here: