A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner with some friends when I was asked:
"Why do you do what you do? Why are you so picky with what you buy?"
I have to say, that since embarking on this journey to simplify my life, these are the most common questions I get asked by people who know me in real life.
For me, simplifying my life has not been about saving money (what most people assume its about), or finding more time (the other thing people assume its about). While those things have certainly happened, the biggest thing about simplifying my life is that it allows me to truly live according to my values.
The trouble with consumerism and most commercial media is that it tends to "cheapen" people's values.
So many people state that they value children's rights, but will go and buy chocolate containing cocoa harvested by child-slaves.
Or they express shock at 12 year olds having sex but will go buy provocative clothing for their 6 year old because its the "in thing".
Whether we knowingly do it or not, what happens is that the act of consuming such products is making a mockery of our values.
I was stuck in this cycle where my habits contradicted what I said I believed in. Little steps along the way have helped me "right" my habits. Its been a hard journey and in some ways I still do have a little way to go. But I'm now at a stage where I can look at the things around me and I realise that I have come a long way.
“Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I'll tell you what they are.” - James W. Frick