Member Comments for the Article:

The Benefits and Virtues of Voluntary Simplicity

Simplify Your Life!


1/29/2016 6:44:11 AM

This is the way I am attempting to live. I don't think I've ever seen it expressed so eloquently as I have here, but then Coach Dean is one of my favorite SparkPeople coaches/writers. All of his articles are worth reading! Thank you for populating my "Favorites"!
11/18/2015 11:37:56 AM

STONE815's SparkPage
Very good article. This is something I am working toward since I retired.
10/15/2015 7:05:03 PM

What a terrific article from one of Spark's finest coaches! I've found there's so much peace and satisfaction to be gained by relinquishing the role of a "stuffologist" ;) It's easier on the earth, too!
10/5/2015 5:54:22 AM

RUBYRED2319's SparkPage
Enjoyed this article very much.
8/17/2015 8:18:13 AM

Very good article. I too, had to learn the hard way. I had lost my job a couple of years ago and I was totally unprepared. In the beginning, living simply was not a choice, it was just the way it was. But after a few weeks, I gradually learned I did not need all of the things I wanted. I found the difference between the meaning of wanting and of needing. Today I am thriving and doing well. My life is a testament in how God provides and how to trust in Him completely. Letting go of me and holding onto Him.
7/28/2015 4:54:19 AM

Simplicity started out involuntarily for me, when I had to stop working because of a chronic disease. I still have some income, but it's a bare minimum. I came to like the simple life pretty soon. Fortunately, I don't own a house so no mortgage, I live in a reasonably cheap apartment. I don't own a car and don't need one - do everything by bike and if it's too far by train. I don't go on holidays anymore, and am always on the search for free or cheap things, free or low budget courses (I love learning), second hand clothes and furniture (or I make them myself). Don't have cable anymore, if I really want to watch things I can always find them online. Started gardening on my very small patch of ground. Stopped buying books but get them from the library now. I enjoy my relatively simple life (which is, compared to life in really poor countries, still quite luxurious).
Only thing I miss is being able to give my son some extra money so he has to take a considerable student loan, and perhaps taking more classes.
3/20/2015 8:20:04 AM

DEBIGENE's SparkPage
Two years of unemployment knocked this sense into me, When I FINALLY was able to land a job (PT) I learned to live on that income and enjoyed the simplicity of it. 5 years later I am lovin' life and heading toward retirement in another 5 years. I'll be ready if I do decide to retire but I doubt it. I love my PT job and God has been to good to me.

Have faith !!!
3/20/2015 7:53:14 AM

This was one of the best articles I've ever read on Spark and I've been here a LONG time. The only issue not addressed was people who must work long hours just to support their family. Companies increasingly treat employees as disposable and demand more and more with the warning "you're lucky to have a job." This attitude is devastating to the individual family and to society as a whole.
2/4/2015 7:42:04 AM

This was a great article. The suggestions were reasonable and worthy. Although we have downsized, and although I became far more thoughtful about buying new and getting rid of no longer used items, I am way behind many of the people who commented on your article. One thing I'd add to the comments is that when we downsized, I felt "lighter" and less encumbered. It was an eye-opener to read both the article and the comments.
12/29/2014 9:58:24 PM

Great article. We downsized in 2007 from a 3000 square foot home to a 1000 square foot home for four people. We love it! We have to be more creative with our storage and nearly everything in our home serves a practical purpose and isn't there just to be decorative. We have no attic space, minimal closets, and refuse to pay for off-site storage, so we really have to be careful with what we buy. If we haven't used it in 6 months, it goes out the door to someone else who can find a use for it (donation to charity or a friend). We spend much more time together as a family creating memories than taking care of possessions. It's a good life, but the steps to get here can be overwhelming at first. :)
12/20/2014 10:00:22 AM

CHRISTYV57's SparkPage
This article is very affirming of our decision 7 years ago to take early retirement, sell our house at a loss in the beginning of the Great Recession, and move to FL to become the "family" and full time back up caregivers for our grandchildren who were at that time ages 18 mos. and a newborn. We have a small but adequate home, lots of fun and practical "stuff" and we don't have to lock our doors because we have nothing worth stealing. Our days revolve around helping our daughter's family, supporting them so that the parents can do their work in the medical professions. We are helping them while they help others. Our needs are few, and we have everything we need and most of what we want. We are blessed, thanks Doc Dean for affirming this choice.
10/17/2014 12:44:02 PM

In May 2013 I quit my job of 9 years and got rid of most of my Worldly possessions. I biked across the country for a charity and worked on poverty housing all summer. I joined the Peace Corps right after I got back and obviously the timing was wrong, I was returned shortly after due to safety. I also helped move my partner to Sacramento from Seattle and with all the crazy changes I still think having less stuff is like being given your freedom. When you no longer worry about things being stolen and where to store things, you begin a fabulous journey called life!
10/3/2014 9:13:51 AM

This is how I choose to live my life, very simply. I am fortunate to be able to do this. I do have issue with any one who believes that you get what you deserve in this life. Rich people do not deserve to be rich, poor people do not deserve to be poor. You get what you get, sometimes effort plays a part, sometimes it doesn't. The only generalization that can be made about rich and poor people, is that rich people have more money.
7/10/2014 1:13:14 PM

Wow! This is a very interesting article. I've been moving this direction for the past couple of years, and according to this list I'm doing a great job. I still have more paring down to do, and we have really slowed our spending, collecting, and we really think about a purchase and how it fits in to our lives, not just another accessory, gadget, something else to take up space. We are really simplifying, growing our own food, concentrating on good stewardship, etc. The top I have not been successful at, is the work category. I haven't figured this out yet, as it would take a major change career change for this to happen, but also the biggest stressor for me. It would mean getting away from behind the desk, which is great, but away from all of my skills, etc. It's on my mind more and more though. I do have to say, my simpler life is really nice and peaceful, spiritual too.
5/26/2014 8:23:58 AM

GADGETCC's SparkPage
I have to admit that when I read "fair distribution of labor and resources and the well-being of the natural world", I got scared. Who is to say what is "fair"? Environmental Activists who lecture us while flying around in private planes? Socialists who wish to forcefully take resources from those who work hard? "Fair" remains a very dangerous word.

I know many who enjoy working. Those who obtain wealth and remain charitable, humble and happy people. Yet my husband and I live on one income so we can educate our daughter at home. I do not use my degree which would have lead to a much higher household income and bigger house, but instead chose the simple life so my daughter could be happy and free.

This was not a bad article, but having escaped communism, I stress that we are FREE to choose. As the author said, this should not be imposed on others.

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