By now, no one is really new to the idea of want vs. need. Obviously, there are things in all of our lives that are not strictly “needs” but that we keep around or keep paying for for a variety of reasons. Because of this, living a more peaceful lifestyle needs to include some streamlining both mentally and in terms of possession. This isn't going to be a lecture about the evils of capitalism or an argument in favor of making hemp clothes and moving into a mud hut with your new hippie commune. The next few Thursday entries will just be a couple of concepts I have either discovered myself or had people very slowly and patiently explain to me that can help anyone simplify things a little bit.
“Need” vs. Need
I had a conversation once with someone whose opinion I respect. He owns a beautiful ranch, built his own place and works as a trail guide in the summer and a professor in the winter. Very interesting person living a very interesting and intentional lifestyle. His point was “If you can tell me any material possession you think you can't live without, I will explain why you don't need it.” Fair point I guess, but I disagree.
I love our Playstation. Hell, I bought a new Playstation yesterday (Fallout 4 came out and Erin has decided to compete for Wife of the Year). I know it's something we don't need in the hunter/gatherer sense of the word but we like to play games together and watch Netflix together and for us that's worth the cost. Streamlining doesn't mean giving up things that make you happy, it just means analyzing your lifestyle and shedding off the things that take resources (money, time, effort) and don't provide an equal or better return.
A really great resource that can be used to help draw your own line between Needs and “Needs” is the Tiny Transition and Downsizing E-Course from The Comet Camper. It comes in weekly installments and includes activities and exercises that are super helpful in keeping on track and they don't take up a ton of time. Check them out!
Alright well, that's all your time I'm going to take up for now. Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to leave a message in the comment section that I've hopefully gotten working below.
Oh wait! What was I thinking? Here's the one Sam-related item we are required to post every week so our mums keep visiting:
Next week: Streamlining Pt.2 - Advertisement