good read: voluntary simplicity

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This week’s good read is a really interesting essay on simplicity by Richard Gregg, a social philosopher who is known mostly for his work on non-violent resistance.  In 1936, he first coined the term “voluntary simplicity” in an essay entitled The Value of Voluntary Simplicity.  It is thorough and still relevant– a total consolidation and refreshing reminder of why we choose simplicity.  He writes about the importance of simplicity as it relates to human relationships, personalities, domestic life, unity, society, equality, civilization, leadership, non violence, the environment, art, and beauty.  This is essential reading for anyone interested in minimalism.

Here are a few notable quotes from the essay:

Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition. It means singleness of purpose, sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter, of many possessions irrelevant to the chief purpose of life….  It means an ordering and guiding of our energy and our desires, a partial restraint in some directions in order to secure greater abundance of life in other directions. It involves a deliberate organization of life for a purpose.”

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