Live simply so that others may simply live
14th October 2019
I recently read a book called Stuffocation by James Wallman, a great title for a book! The premise is that most of us now live with more stuff than we could ever need – clothes we don’t wear, kit we don’t use, toys we don’t play with and it’s making us feel ‘stuffocated’. Having all we thought we wanted, isn’t making us happier but stressed. It’s also bad for the planet and it is cluttering up our homes. Wallman suggests that we must transform what we value, focussing less on possessions and more on experiences. Rather than a new phone or another pair of shoes we should invest in shared experiences like holidays and time with friends. He calls upon us to move from materialism to experientialism. My concern however is that this too could become another form of ‘stuffocation’ seeking to gather one experience after another, perhaps never staying still enough to simply ‘smell the roses’.
I’m sure though that we are all now becoming aware of the truth of Gandhi’s teaching on the need to live more simply, not only for our own sanity but because the way we currently live is costly in terms of the environment and for other people in the world. How we live impacts on how others live because our world is interconnected and we are interdependent, so we need to take responsibility.
In this season of Christian Harvest festivals and Jewish Sukkot we are right to be thankful for the abundance we experience but it is also a time to reflect on how our world resources are distributed and the ways in which our lifestyle may affect others.
Living more simply is good for us and is better for our world. So let us be thankful for what we have, consume less and be generous in our giving.
Mrs C Crossley