Monday, November 05, 2012

Living simply

I have been scratting around trying to think of something to write on here. It’s proving difficult because I am so immersed in rewriting the last chapter of Plotting for Grown-ups, and the only other two things that are occupying my brain are (1)  the American election, and hoping for the sake of the US and the whole world that Obama wins, and (2) simplicity and living simply, because that’s what we’ve been thinking a lot about at my Quaker meeting.

I don’t know how much you know about Quakerism, but we don’t look like this:

Or this:

Most of us look pretty normal.

We don’t have a set of beliefs or a creed, but we have things called testimonies, which are ideals we try to live by: truth and integrity, equality, peace, social justice, and simplicity.

I thought you might be interested to read what our book called Quaker Faith and Practice says about simplicity:

I want to list ten controlling principles for the outward expression of simplicity. They should not be viewed as laws but as one attempt to flesh out the meaning of simplicity into twentieth-century life.

First, buy things for their usefulness rather than their status.

Second, reject anything that is producing an addiction in you.

Third, develop a habit of giving things away. De-accumulate.

Fourth, refuse to be propagandised by the custodians of modern gadgetry.

Fifth, learn to enjoy things without owning them.

Sixth, develop a deeper appreciation for the creation.

Seventh, look with a healthy scepticism at all 'buy now, pay later' schemes.

Eighth, obey Jesus' injunction about plain, honest speech.

Ninth, reject anything that will breed the oppression of others.

Tenth, shun whatever would distract you from your main goal.


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