Living simple is something that many of us have forgotten how to do since the dawn of the modern age. Today we are surrounded by far too many luxuries, gizmos and gadgets which provide us with everything we need – except for perhaps the quiet simplicity that many of us forget. Leading a simple life might seem like a boring option or an inconvenience to many people, but actually it has many different advantages and is good for many aspects of our lies. Here we will look at the inherent value of ‘the quiet life’.
What Is Meant by Living Simply?
Living simply encompasses many things. For instance it means eating simply – using healthy green foods, possibly that you have grown yourself in some cases, and eating moderate amounts that don’t make you feel bloated. A ‘simple’ meal might well just be a steamed chicken with rice and vegetables or it might be a fish pie. Low in salt and sugar and high in nutrients.
At the same time the home can be arranged and decorated to be simple too – this would mean featuring fewer of the trappings of a modern existence such as computers and games consoles or huge widescreen TVs and instead having a minimalistic house that is easy to keep tidy and which feels big and spacious. Though that said someone who lives a life as simply as possible will probably have a rather small house so as to make it easier to keep things clean and tidy.
A simple life can also refer to what you have on your calendar and how you spend your time. Most likely a simple life will mean not going out for huge clubbing nights every weekend, or attending lavish dinner parties – instead it will mean nights in reading after dinner, gardening or just having friends round for tea. You will find yourself mostly sticking to a rough routine that leaves lots of free time for just unwinding or staying on top of the cleaning.
Advantages of Living Simply
So now you should be able to begin to paint a picture of what it’s like to live a truly simple life; but why would you want to live that way?
Well actually there are many advantages to a simple life and many benefits to keeping things as quiet as possible. For one it’s very good for your health: as you aren’t rushing around from one event to another you won’t be tiring yourself out, and as you are eating healthy and light meals you’ll be keeping your body well fuelled and steering clear of foods that could cause heart problems or high blood pressure.
On top of that you’ll also be able to keep a clean and tidy home by giving yourself lots of time and by not having too much that you need to keep on top of. This will help you to stay healthier because your property will be more hygienic, but at the same time it will also help you to keep your stress levels right down because you will always have plenty of time. This can be great for not only your mental health, but again for your immune system and heart as you are rarely forced to panic or struggle.
Then there’s the benefit that this has on your finances – because you are doing less you will feel your finances begin to grow, and because you aren’t spending money on lavish gadgets and toys you’ll be able to instead grow a savings account to help you protect your future and probably that of your children too.
And it’s even good for the environment – by keeping your expenses down you will be creating less waste, and by choosing clean and simple products you will be reducing your own carbon footprint too. Eve staying in more (i.e. driving less) and maintaining a simple and tidy garden can help you to ensure that you create fewer carbon emissions.
Against the Simple Life
All that said though, I personally am still not tempted to live the simple life. Sure I can see the benefits of it for other people and I know that in many ways it is a healthy and eco-conscious choice. For me personally though I think that life is there to be lived, and that stress and risk are simply the cost of that. My home is filled with gadgets and clutter – but that’s because I enjoy all those devices or did once. The day I went out on my power bocks was one of my favorite recent memories and felt exciting and pioneering. And the day I fired a crossbow into the woods I felt like Rambo. Sure they clutter up the flat now, but they were memories and they are things I might well do again. The piles of weights? They helped me to get into shape and build my confidence and my career grew out of that – so they aren’t going anywhere either.
I eat huge lavish meals, I party a lot, and I go on holidays and adventures that involve climbing mountains or sleeping on benches. That’s certainly not living simply, but it’s given my life meaning, giving me things to look forward to and helped shape me into a more well rounded person. I have lots of gadgets and computers in my home, but that’s because I’m always learning more skills online and developing myself as a person so that I can do more impressive things. And I think the same goes for society – which we need to sometimes take risks and spend money and even create pollution in order to advance as a culture and to make innovations that will help us to achieve more in the future.
We could all be very careful, and live life very simply, and it would be very healthy for us and mean nothing ever went wrong. But really I would ask – what’s the point then?