Simple Living and High Thinking Great men f the world has always preached that simple living and high thinking should be the golden principle of life.
Brought to you by curio. Among philosophical ideas about how we should live, this one is a hardy perennial; from Socrates to Thoreau, from the Buddha to Wendell Berry, thinkers have been peddling it for more than two millennia. And it still has plenty of adherents. Magazines such as Real Simple call out to us from the supermarket checkout; Oprah Winfrey regularly interviews fans of simple living such as Jack Kornfield, a teacher of Buddhist mindfulness; the Slow Movement, which advocates a return to pre-industrial basics, attracts followers across continents.
Through much of human history, frugal simplicity was not a choice but a necessity — and since necessary, it was also deemed a moral virtue. In pre-modern times, the discrepancy between what the philosophers advised and how people lived was not so great. Wealth provided security, but even for the rich wealth was flimsy protection against misfortunes such as war, famine, disease, injustice and the disfavour of tyrants.
The Stoic philosopher Seneca, one of the richest men in Rome, still ended up being sentenced to death by Nero. As for the vast majority — slaves, serfs, peasants and labourers — there was virtually no prospect of accumulating even modest wealth.
Before the advent of machine-based agriculture, representative democracy, civil rights, antibiotics and aspirin, just making it through a long life without too much suffering counted as doing pretty well.
Today, though, at least in prosperous societies, people want and expect and can usually have a good deal more. Living simply now strikes many people as simply boring. Yet there seems to be growing interest, especially among millennials, in rediscovering the benefits of simple living.
Some of this might reflect a kind of nostalgia for the pre-industrial or pre-consumerist world, and also sympathy for the moral argument that says that living in a simple manner makes you a better person, by building desirable traits such as frugality, resilience and independence — or a happier person, by promoting peace of mind and good health, and keeping you close to nature.
These are plausible arguments. Yet in spite of the official respect their teachings command, the sages have proved remarkably unpersuasive. One obvious answer is good old-fashioned hypocrisy.
We applaud the frugal philosophy while ignoring its precepts in our day-to-day lives. We praise the simple lifestyle of, say, Pope Francis, seeing it as a sign of his moral integrity, while also hoping for and cheering on economic growth driven, in large part, by a demand for bigger houses, fancier cars and other luxury goods.
Our thinking about simplicity and luxury, frugality and extravagance, is fundamentally inconsistent. We condemn extravagance that is wasteful or tasteless and yet we tout monuments of past extravagance, such as the Forbidden City in Beijing or the palace at Versailles, as highly admirable.
Somewhat paradoxically, then, the case for living simply was most persuasive when most people had little choice but to live that way.
The traditional arguments for simple living in effect rationalise a necessity.Sep 15, · A Simple Life. Mennonites living in Belize exist apart from the government, with limited technology and surrounded by farmable land. Photographs by Jake Michaels. Text by Daniel Shank Cruz. Jul 26, · How to Live a Simple and Peaceful Life.
In this Article: Adjusting Your Schedule Reprioritizing Your Life Changing Your World Community Q&A Life on the fast track will eventually take its toll on your health and your relationships with others%(98).
Here’s a sample essay about life written by one of our professional essay writers: “Life is beautiful and yet life is not a bed of roses.
Though it is full of ups and downs it . This life style can be beautifully summarized in the phrase ‘simple living and high thinking’.
Here simple living is in relation to maintenance of the body, and high thinking is in relation to the aim of one’s intellectual pursuits. Simple living is the right choice to live.
It reduces stress and leads to a happy life. It is a life worth emulating. Simple lifestyle helps in attaining personal peace of mind and relaxation, far from the chains of materialistic pleasures of modern life.
Essay On: Simple Life. Great people have taught the value of austerity by living a simple life. it would be rather nice to develop courage to lead a simple life and determine to do good work. Back to Home. Share.
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