Voluntary poverty as a way of life


“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of”

Confucius



If you want to work, but don’t have a job it can become an incredible challenge to survive in this world.

If you do have a job, and if you work as much as you can, you may still find it is an incredible challenge to survive in this world.

When you are poor or middle class you are so fully distracted by the day to day challenges of living that you never consider the gross inequality of the social structures that enslave us.

Things are set up so that you have just enough so that you will continue to accept things the way they are (how ever little just enough is for you).

Comedian George Carlin quips that the function of the poor is to scare the living shit out of the middle class so they keep going to work. Personally I think he’s dead right.

But what if instead of being afraid of the poor or of being poor you redefined it in a way that is more empowering.

You could for instance view voluntary poverty as a state where your have conquered your desires.

Poverty then could be seen as a means to unshackle yourself from the anchor of ownership. This way of thinking breeds within you a freedom to become an intrepid everyday adventurer that lives life on your own terms. There is no time to worry about being poor when you shift your gaze to the endless and exciting possibilities of your freedom.

Alternatively, you could consider yourself a penniless aristocrat like some sort of rake of old London town. This is kind of how we view ourselves. Landed lady and gent with property but no way to pay the rent!

Personally what scares the shit out of me is not the thought of being poor. I am infinitely more scared of continuing my life as a corporate slave eeking out a benign life of buying new stuff then going back to work to pay for more storage space.

There is nothing to fear in voluntary poverty. Our own experiment in impoverished living has bought us more joy, connectedness and happiness than working 7 till 7 ever did.

Work sucks and you’re way too clever to be some bozo that has no other alternative than trading your life away.

Embracing poverty is the fastest route out of the rat race.

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