Voluntary Simplicity and Ecological Minimalism

“The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well”
Alfred Adler

[This is a guest post from Eric over at greenminimalism.com , part-time worker but full time RV guy and anticonsumerist etc. etc. Eric’s like my brother from another mother. Check out his blog for other excellent posts. I particularly love this one. I hope you enjoy his story – Mr Simple]

I was 27. I’d just divorced my wife after only two years of marriage. Despite being a ambitious and hardworking guy, I was stuck in the most boring job in the world. My father died. I was depressed and directionless.

Today, I’m 29. I’m independent, self-reliant, very healthy, well read, disciplined, work some pleasant part-time jobs. I’m happy.
How did I get from A to B? How did I turn off the well-trodden path of dull work, mortgages, financial slavery and ultimate dissatisfaction and break into freedom?
Strangely, the rupture caused by divorce helped me repair my life and forced me to think deeply about where my life was going. I had a midlife crisis, just a little early. Apparently most people reach an ‘omega point’ at around age 40 where they realize that most of their life has been spent and they still haven’t fulfilled any of the goals that they dreamed up in their youth. I was determined not to have such regrets.
An awful marriage and an awful job shook me into understanding that the conventional way that people live their lives is almost always the WRONG way to do it. Fortunately I still didn’t have a house at age 27 and my stressful office job had already paid off many of my debts, so I was able to quit the game. I resolved not to enslave myself with a mortgage, or children, or other commitments until I’d considered my short existence and worked out what I was on this planet for.
Full-time RV living and ecological minimalism revealed itself to be the best way to avoid conforming. I decided that most people live a disgustingly selfish lifestyle, where even marrying is often done on the basis of financial ladder-climbing rather than love. Even spousal love is kind of selfish in the way that it is a sort of turning inwards from the world.
Poor Indian laborers were working even worse hours than I did to provide all the possessions that I’d consumed in my life so far, and I’d hardly given them a thought. Okay, we get this sort of message shoved down our throats frequently. Yet I just don’t think that most people understand the damage that simply BEING NORMAL causes in our society – to fellow humans, to the environment and to ourselves.
Helping other people off the path has become my new mission, and I feel privileged to be able to post this on another blog with an identical ethos. We are few, but we are vocal, and we are intelligent and healthy unlike many. The best that we can do is show people that there is another route, and that there are no good objections against taking it.

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