Voluntary Simplicity

April 23, 2014 By arne hendriks 2

Voluntary simplicity is characterised by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than what they want. Simple living movements testify to the mindset and behaviour needed for humanity to make drastic changes. Its many secular and religious manifestations function as a source of how to open our minds to the notion of the small. It’s not just idealism or saving the world that makes people choose a simpler life; stepping back from the irrational rat race for growth more often than not, creates an immense sense of relief, time and space.

If the human body were to become smaller we would need less. It would be easier to sustain ourselves and the systems that support current living could be much less complex. This principle relates both to external systems such as the housing, energy and food systems, as well as the body itself. J.B.S. Haldane has written on how lungs and other organs would be much less complicated if the body wasn’t so big. Bigness leads to complexity and complex systems are intrinsically vulnerable. Small systems are resilient, self-sufficient and stronger.