We just launched A Different Way: Living Simply in a Complex World and over 200 people are off and running with the new course, organizing discussions in your communities and coming together to create change. This new course book shares insights on how simple living is a way to make our own paths in life – paths that allow for investing our time in the things that matter most to us, making choices that create less waste and more good, using (or not using) technology intentionally, and critically examining the messages that tell us what to believe, what to value, and who to be.
At a time when bad news about the environment abounds, and many safeguards protecting our health and the environment are at risk, you might wonder why simple living is important now. And yet, consumer-oriented and profit-driven culture drives many of the negative trends at play. Unfortunately, in spite of persistent negative environmental indicators, levels of consumption continue to rise.
Throughout this new course book, you will have the opportunity to explore the challenges faced living in a consumer-oriented society. You’ll also explore opportunities that you have to insert yourself into the systems and make change – in your personal life as well as in your community, and beyond. You’ll have the opportunity to ask yourself how your passions and interests meet the world’s greatest needs – and how you can create more time for the things that matter most in your life.
In the United States, it’s a time when slowing down to reflect and simplify may seem like a luxury — with so much going on in the political sphere, and many of us feeling called to do more, and be more involved. However, we believe that living simply in a complex world means moving beyond our homes and daily routines. Instead, living a simple life is also an act of resistance to the status quo, a call for transformation through personal example. Our personal actions matter, especially when we invite others to join us. Our actions matter when we push for change at the organizational, city, state or national levels. Ultimately, we must seize the opportunity to influence broader change.
As you embark on this journey, consider the future you desire and what is required to bring about change. Remember that every positive action begins with individuals just like each of us. We can indeed find a different way during these complex times – and invite your community to join you in making these ever-important shifts! We hope you’ll join us in connecting our individual values and actions to the larger picture, finding power to make real change in our lives, communities, and in the world at large.