More questions from friends and readers. This one is usually in the form: “How can you be a simple liver and love commerce which seems to be about buying?” ( I wrote the classic Simple Living in 1984... it is still selling.)
Commerce isn't about buying, its about exchanging. Buying can be one of many by-products of us producing something that is sold. With money as the medium, our options to buy, save and invest are highly varied. It is clear from economic data that as the amount of money we have increases, the amount of buying goods and services decreases and savings increase. We also see that as people get older (over age 50) and their family needs decrease, they buy less and save more.
This is where simple living comes in. At any age, we can decide we don't need to buy more, we can buy less. The most important consequence is that we need to earn less. The need to earn less gives us the freedom to do what we want, whatever we want.
Last Saturday I had my morning cappuccino next to a fascinating woman in her mid-50s. Michelle makes her living as a freelance barber (she only cuts men's hair). Michelle has lived everywhere from Hollywood to the backwoods of Idaho. It was immediately obvious that Michelle is a strong, independent, confident and happy woman. She is also a simple liver. She can be independent and happy because she is a simple liver.
Simple living is a dynamic. You need to be strong to do it and it makes you stronger. You need to be a generally happy person to do it, and it makes you happier.
Simple living is a blessing. That blessing is available to all people at all times, but the wealth that abounds in a commercial society makes simple living a comfortable realm for anyone interested. The abundance of marketable portable skills makes simple living easier.