Saturday, December 7, 2013

How DO we do it?

It seems impossible. How do we live on so little per month?

If you'll look at the list of things we spend money on (food, water, clothing, shelter) you'll get an idea of the things we don't spend money on.

Cars, television, movies, internet, cell phones, rent or mortgage, eating out, travelling, fancy clothes, computers, ipads, ipods, Androids, tillers, tractors, lawn mowers, appliances.

Of course we do spend some money on some the items listed above. But not nearly what the average person does, and we make certain it is on our terms.

It is a trap to think of all the modern luxuries the world has to offer as necessities. In fact, like Thoreau said:
"Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind." (emphasis mine)
Every single one of these "luxuries" are simply devices or services which do something you can readily -- in many cases -- do for yourself for free. Like Wendell Berry says:
"... modern salesmanship and modern technology -- yet another way to make people pay dearly for what they already have ..."
The trick is in understanding this fact and recognizing the opportunities we all have to do things for ourselves instead of paying money.

Many folks will say, "But I don't have time to do things myself!" And this is where the trap lies. Why don't folks have time to do things for themselves? Because they're so busy trying to make money. Why are they so busy trying to make money? To pay for all these luxuries!

It's a vicious cycle, almost like quicksand. You get your feet in without even thinking and it sucks you in. And the more you struggle the harder it grips.

But you can get free, we did.

1 comment:

  1. I think there's also those people who don't want to do things themselves and would rather have a job that they're good, or at least competent at, so that they can pay to avoid those things. One example I normally think of that I would never pay for is a house cleaner yet there is a demand for it out there.