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Ten Reasons for Choosing a Simpler Life-Style

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  • wolfsave@aol.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 5, 2000
      <<Ten Reasons for Choosing a Simpler Life-Style
      by Jørgen Lissner
      reproduced with the author's permission

      Today's global realities call for comfortable Christians to review
      their life-style. Guidelines for a simpler style of life cannot be
      laid down in universal rules; they must be developed by individuals
      and communities according to their own imagination and situation. A
      simpler life-style is not a panacea. It may be embarked upon for the
      wrong reasons, e.g., out of guilt, as a substitute for political
      action, or in a quest for moral purity. But it can also be meaningful
      and significant in some or all of the following ways:

      1. As an act of faith performed for the sake of personal
      integrity and as an expression of a personal commitment to a
      more equitable distribution of the world's resources.

      2. As an act of self defense against the mind and body
      polluting effects of overconsumption.

      3. As an act of withdrawal from the achievement-neurosis of our
      high-pressure, materialistic societies.

      4. As an act of our solidarity with the majority of humankind,
      which has no choice about life-style.

      5. As an act of sharing with others what has been given to us,
      or of returning what was usurped by us through unjust social
      and economic structures.

      6. As an act of celebration of the riches found in creativity,
      spirituality, and community with others, rather than in
      mindless materialism.

      7. As an act of provocation (ostentatious underconsumption) to
      arouse curiosity leading to dialogue with others about
      affluence, alienation, poverty, and social injustice.

      8. As an act of anticipation of the era when the self-confidence
      and assertiveness of the underprivileged forces new power
      relationships and new patterns of resource allocation upon

      9. As an act of advocacy of legislative changes in present
      patterns of production and consumption, in the direction of
      a new economic order.

      10. As an exercise of purchasing power to redirect production
      away from the satisfaction of artificially created wants,
      toward the supplying of goods and services that meet genuine
      social needs.

      The adoption of a simpler life-style is meaningful and justifiable for
      any or all of the above reasons alone, regardless of whether it
      benefits the underprivileged. Demands for "proof of effectiveness" in
      helping the poor simply bear witness to the myth that "they the poor"
      are the problem and "we the rich" have the solution.>>
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