Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

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poisonivy113's picture
poisonivy113
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Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hi all,

 I learned of this site several months ago. CIrcumstances worked out so that I could attend the seminar in Rowe a few weeks ago. 

 One thing that I find unfortunate is the high degree of doom and gloom that seems to be on the site. I wonder if that impacts introducing the concepts to others. 

 Hearing Chris and Becca speak in person - I most decidedly did not get the sense that they are hunkered down in fear, despite making dramatic changes in their lifestyle. In fact I believe that they tried to emphasize that they feel they have a much greater quality of life than they did when they were participating in the rat race of chasing the American Dream. I also got the sense that if magically, all the EEE issues went away, they would not return to their former lifestyle. 

 Shortly after my return from Rowe, I stumbled across a book entitled Simple Prosperity by David Wann. He is co author of the book entitled Affluenza, and has produced some videos on the same topic. See www.davewann.com

What really spoke to me about the book is a sense that voluntarily rejecting consumerism leads to a much happier lifestyle. He does talk about peak oil and other EEE issues, but that's not the focus of the book per se.

 A couple of excerpts from the introduction:

"Despite a quadrupling of average income since 1960, surveys show that Americans are no happier now than we were back then"

"...a recent study by the National Science Foundation concluded that one-fourth of all Americans have NO ONE to confide in" 

 "Even wild monkeys have a healthier diets than most Americans, according to anthropologist Katharine Milton. Again, in our money mad world, the focus is on snackability, convenience, and shelf life rather than on human life."

 I think this book is a must read because it discuses the possibility of making different choices, for a variety of reasons - to have a happier, more fulfilling life, to be heathier, to consume fewer resources, and to create communities that are more self sufficient 

Perhaps this is a gentler introduction to CC content for many of your friends. After all, planting a garden in your yard because you want to have access to heathier food isn't as wacky as because you are afraid that stores will be closed as the food distribution system collapses. Maybe it would be easier to start a community garden in your neighborhood on the healthier food premise. And as you get to know people, you could gradually share CC concepts.

 I posted this thread because I'd like to see more positivity on the site. After all, the human race has been around for thousands of years, and people lived happy lives for the most part, no matter what else was going wrong. We are pretty adaptable when we have to be. 

I also want to bring more positivity to the site because the doom and gloom is turning people away. Including my friend who introduced me to the site. He tells me he posted a comment with a positive spin and got attacked by other posters for being in denial. And he hasn't been back since. I understand that there will be times y'all need to vent, and this forum is a great place for that. Still, I'm bothered when I hear about stuff like that. 

 So I'd like to suggest you buy a survival book if you must. Put it aside - it will be there if and when you need it- and read this book first. I think you will be inspired by someone who found that when it comes to quality of life, less is more. I'm sure we all can find a group of people in our area who believe that premise. 

 Dara 

 

 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hi poisonivy113

You make some good points but as far as I know there are more people coming to the site than were. They aren't going away. Part of the need to vent is derived from panic at the loss of stability. The news coming to the site from the world is not good and portrays increasing systemic instability which calls for us who are store fed to seriously question our future survival.

That said, there is no doubt that a simpler life leads to greater rewards. Those who have achieved this are frequently beyond their panic and well into acceptance. I completely agree that to respond locally with our neighbours is the only sensible option and if we do it to grow healthier food then that is a much more acceptable reason than preparing for the end of the world as we know. But getting to do anything real together with our neighbours is our problem. Too many have no desire or time even to grow healthy food for a huge variety of reasons all of which are very real to them.

I remain hoping for a local crisis sufficient to encourage our cooperation. Maybe when sufficient people are without employment. Maybe if banking creaks to a halt rather than stops all together.

Not all crisis will encourage community some may destroy its remnants completely.

Don

______________________________________________

7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong 

Linda K's picture
Linda K
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Joined: Aug 23 2008
Posts: 56
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hey dara

Sorry your friend was flamed. Maybe you can convince them to try again.
There's so much good information here even with the occasional hair
pulling. I just read Chris Peters' healthcare post

http://www.peakprosperity.com/forum/upco...

Such generosity is remarkable and more the prevailing spirit -
exemplified by Chris and Becca of course. It's easy to get rilled by
the hard stuff and hit that "post new comment" button in a fit of
exasperation. I've done it myself and wish there was a magic delete.
But to address your issue of the positive - there's still humor to be
had and spirits to be lifted. If you can convince people to make positive changes in their lives by presenting them as benefits rather than bitter pills - well why not?

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JAG
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Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hi Dara, Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your post and I couldn't agree more with your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

Jeff 

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grl
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Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hi Dara,

I appreciate this post and have felt similar despair at times when reading various threads on CM.com. I agree there is a lot of "doom and gloom" and that is not Chris and Becca's message - they say that very clearly in their latest podcast. But what Pri8don says is also true. This is a community for many of us who sense the ground is shaking beneath us (or as some put it, are "aware") while everyone around us in our physical world feels no tremor at all. This site provides an opportunity to discuss the bad stuff, and hopefully some good things too. Chris and Becca have been at it for 5 years or so and have had time to build a local community. Most of us do not have a community around us with whom we can share and prepare. Heck, a lot of people on this website can't even get their spouse/partner on board. I believe that Chris and Becca are working on adding a "groups" component to this website which will allow those who opt in to connect with others in our various locales. That will, I think, be a very positive development.

poisonivy113's picture
poisonivy113
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Posts: 81
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

I'm very intrigued by the responses here. 

I stated that I understand the need to vent. There is plenty of room for that. What I'm getting at is that I don't see much welcoming (or even tolerance of) positive views. I think it IS human nature to come together in crisis...that is, if you have structured your life so that you have people to come together with. Evidently 1/4 of americans don't have that.

 I am well aware that many people have spouses who don't buy in. At the conference in Rowe, I met one person whose spouse threatened to leave if this individual kept talking about it.

 I don't have a spouse, or much of a community. Partly to being relatively new to my city, partly due to most of that time in this city being devoted to a job that essentially required 80 hours a week of exhausting work. So I'm working to build community just like many others. And I know that many people won't take the CC concepts well.

 So...i decided that I had to be practical. Does it really matter if some (or most) people in the community I am looking to create for myself buy into the CC concepts? What if, for example, I join and become active in a group I found out about yesterday whose focus is reducing your carbon footprint by changing your eating habits (less meat, more local produce, organically grown food). And what if, as I get to know them, they don't want anything to do with CC concepts? What do I do then? Blow off the group? No. I think being part of such a group would be helpful to me and what I think I need to do to prepare for worst case. But really, they are implementing some of the CC principles, even if they don't see it that way. And, since I think the most likely scenario is a gradual development of issues of CC (eg rising gas prices that stay up, etc), more people will stop and think.

I'm viewing my process of community building as finding a variety of people/groups, each of whom is already buying into a small part of CC concepts without really realizing it (another example...Ron Paul supporters would be most on board with the economic piece). I plan to build my community around a variety of people, who I think could come together as events unfold. And even if there was a sudden SHTF event, I could bring together people from these groups to form whatever sort of emergency support community might be necessary. 

So the reason I posted about this book was to HELP people with reluctant spouses, etc. Because ultimately I think the message of Chris and Becca is that if enough people make some changes in our lifestyle now, not as a way of preparing for SHTF but because we recognize that our current lifestyle is not sustainable, then a SHTF scenario could be prevented. That's what I like about this book, because it comes from the standpoint that not only is our current use of resources unsustainable, but it also is making us sick and miserable. So I thought it could be a useful tool to help introduce CC concepts. Maybe warm someone up with something like this first, and then move on to the full CC. But then I could be FOS too. All I know is that I think the doom and gloom prevents some people from hearing the message. 

Dara 

 

 

Linda K's picture
Linda K
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Posts: 56
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Dara

Why doubt yourself when you are obviously working in a direction that is doable and makes sense within your circumstances? The CC isn't a religion with required rules. Each step in it's own time. One of the many things it's done for me is to boost me to be more helpful, even to those who will never be candidates for watching the course or following the blogs. I have no intention of trying to get my neighbor, who's Japanese with only passable english, on board with learning the 3Es
but will make sure she's not without food or heat and may even do a
little bartering with her fruit trees. Plenty to be gloomy and doomy about but don't let that stop you or limit you from finding your own balance and defining your own prosperity. Purposful action is it's own message. Simple and positive.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
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Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

Hi Dara,

Interesting post.  However, whilst I am totally in favour of living simply (as we do), you must understand that this alone will bring the system down.  Not that I care, the system (which I prefer to call the Matrix) MUST come down.  It WILL come down.....  That's what scares people, causing them to feel doom'n'gloomy.....

We've come down from two incomes (~$75,000 a year) to under $28,000.  If my wife decided to abandon her pottery habit (she's studying ceramics full time) we could easily live on half that....  Now think about what doing this would do to the GDP?  If a mere shrinkage of GDP by 1% is causing the panic we see today, just imagine what would happen with a 70 to 85% contraction!  TPTB don't want you to live simply.....  that is a fact!  YOU must buy the plasma screens, and SUVs, and airconditioners, and....  otherwise the Matrix, all an illusion, simply collapses.  And it is collapsing.

The problem is that the Matrix is fundamentally flawed.  Without growth, the current debts cannot be repaid....  I believe they will NEVER be repaid.  And who should care?  The debts are all monopoly money...

So what we need to do is admit to ourselves that the system is buggered beyond repair, and close it down altogether.  Then we start a new sustainable one, not based on usury, not based on growth.

Until people understand this fundamental requirement, and I absolutely understand how scary that much change is for people who are just waking up from their slumber (I am incredibly fortunate that I was woken up to all this mess more than 15 years ago), we will not get the new system we so severely need.

The trouble is, people don't want to admit they are on drugs, fossil fuels and debt.  A drug addict can only beat his/her problems when they first admit to themselves thay are addicts. So they keep the fog going by talking about making bio-diesel, or buying generators, hoarding stuff, buying lots of guns.....

If you're not concerned, you're not paying attention....

Mike 

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britinbe
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Posts: 381
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking
Damnthematrix wrote:

Hi Dara,

Interesting post.  However, whilst I am totally in favour of living simply (as we do), you must understand that this alone will bring the system down.  Not that I care, the system (which I prefer to call the Matrix) MUST come down.  It WILL come down.....  That's what scares people, causing them to feel doom'n'gloomy.....

We've come down from two incomes (~$75,000 a year) to under $28,000.  If my wife decided to abandon her pottery habit (she's studying ceramics full time) we could easily live on half that....  Now think about what doing this would do to the GDP?  If a mere shrinkage of GDP by 1% is causing the panic we see today, just imagine what would happen with a 70 to 85% contraction!  TPTB don't want you to live simply.....  that is a fact!  YOU must buy the plasma screens, and SUVs, and airconditioners, and....  otherwise the Matrix, all an illusion, simply collapses.  And it is collapsing.

The problem is that the Matrix is fundamentally flawed.  Without growth, the current debts cannot be repaid....  I believe they will NEVER be repaid.  And who should care?  The debts are all monopoly money...

So what we need to do is admit to ourselves that the system is buggered beyond repair, and close it down altogether.  Then we start a new sustainable one, not based on usury, not based on growth.

Until people understand this fundamental requirement, and I absolutely understand how scary that much change is for people who are just waking up from their slumber (I am incredibly fortunate that I was woken up to all this mess more than 15 years ago), we will not get the new system we so severely need.

The trouble is, people don't want to admit they are on drugs, fossil fuels and debt.  A drug addict can only beat his/her problems when they first admit to themselves thay are addicts. So they keep the fog going by talking about making bio-diesel, or buying generators, hoarding stuff, buying lots of guns.....

If you're not concerned, you're not paying attention....

Mike 

Mike,

I'm with you on this

It can be a funny thing how people will apply a
complete state of denial to anything that they feel does fit with their view of
the world even though the facts may be undisputable be that the real world or
the world of work.  If it goes against their sensibilities they ignore it and
dismiss it as negativity.
 
When I first mentioned he whole peak oil thing and
this site to my wife I was accused of being negative and told I needed to be
more positive!  Unless folks are prepared to hear and ultimately accept
the notion that their way of life isn't sustainable and understand the
consequences, they won't buy into the whole issue and we will be left talking of
fluffy bunnies and cute kittens.  The transition and the initial
aftermath (whether that be days, months or years) will be a "challenge" (if we
euphemistically want to use a different term). 
 
I'm very positive for the future for me and my family.  With courage and determination we will ride this out and will have fulfilling lives.
 
Some good points have been made and perhaps we should make more of an effort to distill out positive ideas from the darker threads?  Mike, you notion of a matrix is dead-on, we are facing a series of complex and inter related problems for which there will be a range of different solutions or combinations thereof
Croatoan's picture
Croatoan
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Posts: 42
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

I was dismayed to read the posts in the forums by people asking how to keep their wealth when the CC site is mostly about the end of money. To me that is a foolish notion and it kept me off the forums for a while. Glad to see more people talking about the root of it all.

I live on about $1000 a month and I am currently working on bringing it down to $400 and I am no youngster. It is a difficult process but life becomes so much easier in the end.

The main obstacle to simple living is getting over your attachments and realizing there was a great interest of capitalism in making you care about things that you never really cared about. No computer? OK. No food for a day? OK. Have to walk 4 miles to get a bus? OK. It all comes down to accepting life as it is, not as how we want it to be.

 

 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 3998
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking

It has taken me months to realise that this site is visited by a far more diverse lot of people than those I normally frequent - greenie, doom'ngloom, peakniks etc.  To be sure, many there are such people here (I've brought many Australian ones to this site!), but it is also visited by others whose only interest in life is money and the wealth it represents.

When should they buy gold, where to park their 401K (why is it even called that..?), when will the bottom be (teeheehee...!), the list is long.

The great majority of money focused people will not get it until TSHTF I think.

Could be wrong....

Mike 

pir8don's picture
pir8don
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Posts: 456
Re: Simple Prosperity: a bit of positive thinking
Damnthematrix wrote:

 
(I've brought many Australian ones to this site!)

Pollution!

expect a few of our US friends might agree.  Last time I looked at the traffic figures I noted there are half as many kiwis as aussies. Would be interesting as % of pop. But then I wondered how the figures get built. If its numbers of posts or length of posts then what?

Don

 ________________________________________

7 billion people can be wrong, very wrong

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