Living the Theme: Simplicity

Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life.  It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world. –Duane Elgin

Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand… -Henry David Thoreau

In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way.  Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable. –Dag Hammarskjold

Voluntary simplicity involves both inner and outer condition.  It means…sincerity and honesty within, as well as avoidance of exterior clutter…The degree of simplification is a matter for each individual to settle for himself. –Richard Gregg

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it.  If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty, you would continue to want it back, and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you.  Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you, or when it seems to interfere with that which is more greatly desired. –Mahatma Gandhi


To consider ways that we might simplify our lives through less consumption, more giving, time in nature

To understand that we have a role to play in protecting our ecosystem

To consider ways we can balance wants and needs with less impact and greater contentment

Taking It Home

Consider alternatives to gifts for a birthday party. There are many online resources to help.

What Is A No-Gift Birthday Party

Kids’ Birthday Parties: Taking the Stress Out of Celebrations

Check out these websites on simplifying your living.

Zero Waste Home.

Simply Living

Spend time in nature together, without the distraction of electronics or other commitments.

Talk about our place in the ecosystem and our responsibility to protect and care for the earth. One way we can do that is the 5 R’s – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot

Clean out your garage, bedroom, or toy box and donate the items to a worthy cause.

Look for ways to reduce the amount of packaging you bring into your home. Reusable bags, jars, containers that can be filled from the bulk section of your grocery store are one good starting place.

Check out any or all of the “Henry” books by DB Johnson, and read them together.

Our RE Stories for the Month

“Enough Stuff,” World of Wonder, Tapestry of Faith, UUA

The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau