Simplicity Circle Guide
Assumptions: We think that if we’re rich, we’ll be happy. In truth, after a certain point, more money does not correlate with greater happiness. In fact, it could hinder it, particularly as the income gap grows. (The biggest predictor of the health of a nation, as measured in longevity, is the wealth gap. Even the rich person in this country does not live as long as the average person in Denmark, where the gap is small.)
The biggest contributor to happiness is connection with others, something that has continued to decline.
Our consumerism is destroying the planet: polluting, using up resources, and causing global warming/climate crisis.
Our goal is to create a belief system than moves from “every man for himself” to one in which “we’re all in this together.”
Simplicity as Clarity: Living an uncluttered life, reducing chaos in terms of things as well as emotions.
Simplicity as True Wealth: Reducing outer wealth so we can increase inner wealth.
Simplicity as the examined life: Making conscious choices about our behavior for the well being of people and the planet.
Simplicity Circles: An Approach to Personal and Social Change.
Assumptions: We learn and change best when we learn from each other and tell our stories. We learn best when we examine our own lives, with books and experts ideas used only as a catalyst. In Simplicity there are no experts; the wisdom is in the people.
Money: Simplicity helps people save money and stay out of debt.
Things: Simplicity helps reduce clutter and consumerism.
Work: Simplicity helps us find a way to do our true work and reduce our “false” work;
Time: We’re meant to be enjoying and savoring our lives. Simplicity helps us find more time for things that matter and learn to move in a leisurely fashion that allows us to feel and think deeply.
Connection with Others: Happiness comes from connection with others with empathy, community, and joie de vivre.
Connection with Nature: If we don’t love nature, we won’t save it; we’ll only love nature when we engage with it.
Connection with the Universe: Simplicity allows us to develop our contemplative skills and be open to the forces of life.
Circle Format: Meet weekly and discuss these points. (Periodically talk first in pairs.)
I. What did you do this week to simplify your life: ( What ways did you save money? What simple pleasures did you engage in? In what ways did you “live lightly” and reduce your impact on the planet? How did you incorporate reflection into your life? In what ways were you able to slow down? How did you participate in community or make connections with others? How did you pursue your particular passion? How did you contribute to the common good?)
II. What new insights did you have about simplicity? (From reading, self, and media) Keep a journal.
III. Bring a quotation to share. (In particular, find a Thoreau quote.)