The article link above has a compelling interest for me. Isn’t this man doing something similar to what many in the small house movement are? He isn’t doing it in the same way-but I do believe he is viewing things in a similar mindset. And I think that mindset is becoming more popular. Another man gave up all electronic communication for a month. Some live out of back packs. There are some who’ve gained attention in the small house movement for decreasing to 400 items or less. And all are finding contentment in less.
Why would people go back to the basics when they have so much at their fingertips? I’m not sure there’s an easy answer, but I think that for most it has to do with one or two of a few factors:
tiring of over-emphasis on consumerism
a desire for less debt
desire to prove self-sufficiency
desire to reconnect
That’s a pretty wide variety, but almost everyone I’ve heard from has discovered that they are happier with less. Most who write about their experiences enjoy the feeling of pioneering-no, they aren’t moving to somewhere unexplored, but into a relatively unexplored mindset in today’s society.
For me it’s financially sound, and after years of a highly consumeristic subculture I am thoroughly looking forward to doing things more simply. Curiosity, the challenge of it and knowing that I can do this on my own, is very much a part of it as well. Designing, planning, and pursuing my goals are often more thrilling than accomplishing anything for me. And perhaps, just maybe, it’s a bit of mid life “crisis”. At 40, I’m thinking about what I’ve done and what I’d like to do, and realizing that the path I’ve headed down in the last 7 years will not take me where I hope to go, but that other options may very well be within my grasp. And more, I’m realizing that due to the success of the last few years, I can live on momentum at this point, and do what I truly enjoy. That, above all, is probably the reason for my interest in downsizing and living more simply. And it’s the reason the article got my attention as well. Because it appears this man has evaluated and assessed and done the same thing.