One of my biggest conundrums lately, has been how to deal with capitalism. I have noticed that most people live just above their means. They use credit cards to extend their income. As long as people are dirt poor to upper middle class, in America, they will spend more than they make. Everyone I know has debt in some form or another. I really dislike living pay check to pay check. I know I don't have to. I could cut expenses by
- Getting rid of my car
- Not eating out
- Cooking cheaper meals
- Not renting movies
- Stop consuming unnecessary sweets and soda (pop to my Midwestern friends)
- Being happy with my clothes and not buy new ones
- Buy only food grown in a sustainable way
- Recycle or reuse everything
- Use vermiculture for my organic waste
- Use solar power to heat my water
- Turn off the lights when I'm not using them
- Use a combination of open windows and curtains to keep my apartment cool with out resorting to the air conditioner
But I don't do these things. Why? because they are inconvenient to my bank account, time of the day, and where I live. I have a million excuses, just like every other American.
My good friend, and former co-intern, Jamie, sent me a link to The Good Life Center in Maine. This a place where they promote active participation in the advancement of social justice, creative integration of the life of the mind, body and spirit, and deliberate choice in living responsibly and harmoniously in an increasingly complicated world. They are looking for a couple to live for a one to three years as a demonstration of how to live "the simple life". Jeff and I are going to apply. It would be wonderful to be taught how to live in a sustainable manner. I don't think I would be able to live forever as harmoniously as this center teaches, but I think I could learn and apply a lot to my life.