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giving simplicity talk, wwy want to hear?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm giving a talk on our simple life tonight for a small group at church. If you were listening to someone who lives this way, what would you want to hear? What questions would you have of someone who has been doing this for a long time? I don't know the ages or genders of the people, but it is a social justice study group of about 12 people. I was told to concentrate on what we do, not the spiritual aspect of it per se.

I posted this question on the simple living thread, but no one responded. I'd appreciate any ideas. Thanks.
post #2 of 9
Well, I am a day late. How did it go?

I'd want to hear practical suggestions about how to get the "stuff" out of my house.

We seem to start out well periodically, but then stall out and it seems like we don't make much progress.

Hope your talk went well!
post #3 of 9
How did it go?

I usually talk to folks about wants vs. needs. And don't scare them with the "purging" if they aren't ready... but you can buy less, or skip buying certain things when they wear out.
post #4 of 9

Also curious to know how it went...

It's kind of odd that a church group doesn't want to hear about the spiritual aspect of simplicity, isn't it?

I would want to hear about Luke 3:11 and how I can apply that to my life. (John the Baptist said, "Let him that has two tunics give to him that has none. And let him that has food do likewise.")

I went to practically the *worst* organization/frugality presentation today, so I can tell you a lot about what I wouldn't want to hear, having just heard it! LOL

But really, I think most people are looking for guidelines about how radical they should get with this simplicity thing (Answer: really radical!) and what does that look like (photos, please!).
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
It wasn't that they didn't want to hear about the spiritual aspect of simplicity. It was just that we are radically simple/frugal and the person who recommended me thought people would want to hear about how we do that in this economy/consumer society. The class is called Just Faith which many churches around the country do. It seems really neat, but just this one book out of the 8-10 they study over the year is about simplicity. It's How Much is Enough by Arthur Simon? I think that's the name.

Well it was kinda weird. I thought it would be a bigger class, but there were only 4 people there, 2 people were missing. I probably talked too much. I focused on how we made the choice to be simple, certain key decisions that we made, community that helped us along the way, how we live now with freedom and savings and no need for a job, and the spiritual benefits we receive from having more time freedom.

And you know what they grilled me on? The fact that we homeschool. Yep. That was the main thing 2 people raked me over the coals about. I'm still steamed about it. I had to justify all the benefits of homeschooling and listen to all the worn out arguments against it. I should have briefly answered and redirected the conversation back to simplicity.

Also 2 of the women were shoppers, so I had to listen to one talk about how she trying to cut back but that she shops all the time and it's her hobby. The other is appparently traumatized from childhood about thrift stores and hand me downs. They also asked what do I think my kids would want to have but don't. Basically, what do I think they are deprived of? My kids aren't deprived of a damn thing. They have 2 parents home who shower them with love and learning. they don't need any more stuff than we have.

I'm still steamed. Next time I give a talk, I will talk less about us personally and focus more on the question of want vs. need and what is enough. I don't focus on the decluttering aspect of simplifying too much because it's not my strong suit. We just don't buy much and that helps. I do focus more on the financial side and the simplifying time/activities side.

Thanks all for asking. I wish I had better news to report.

The Hidden Life, what was terrible about the one you went to?
post #6 of 9
Wow, that sounds like a really awful experience - I'm sorry they treated you that way.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
Wow, that sounds like a really awful experience - I'm sorry they treated you that way.
Thanks. I just realized that I was pretty judgmental toward them probably because I was defensive after all the aggressive questions about things that had little to do with simplicity. something I need to work on.
post #8 of 9

Nothing like your own personal inquisition, eh? :P

Well, shoot, that must have been disappointing. I wouldn't want to sit and be grilled like I was defending my master's thesis about my life either. Hope your next presentation goes better!

What was terrible about the frugality talk I went to:

1) I don't think the presenter gave any new information that I haven't heard elsewhere

2) her delivery style was very dry and appearance was very frazzled/frumpy--an organization "expert" should look the part, you know?

3) she pulled out file folder after file folder--literally 12 of them--as examples of this one simple thing you need to organize your life--each had a specific purpose! Coupon organizer, car files, school papers, home organizing notebook, phone log (organized and filed by month--do most people even write phone messages any longer?--when everyone has their own cell phone with voice mail?), etc.

4) her handout was 9 pages long and really poorly organized; we went through every step at a glacial pace.....

5) she had lots of tips and tricks centered on going to websites where you earn points for using their search engine (swag bucks?), taking surveys for money, buying discounted coupons as gifts, all sorts of really time-consuming things which are just the OPPOSITE of how I want my relationship with money to function.

I don't want to spend hours of time saving money or even thinking about saving money. I want to just buy less, buy more simply and be done with it.

So there's my vent on that...whew!

I came out of it with a new year's resolution: I will not clip, organize or otherwise use coupons in 2010. I would rather live really simple than save money the way she does.
post #9 of 9
well, i'm late too, but i would like ot hear about you.

i think that i would also be interested in the Luke verse (and i'm not even christian), and that i would be interested in the emotional process of transitioning away from our consumer culture.

i find that when you choose a new paradigm, there is a process of deprogramming. for example, when we chose to UC, we realized that we'd ahve to deprogram a LOT about what our culture thinks about birth. it was great, we enjoyed the process (and the UC!), but i often explain to people that it's a paradigm shift involved.

i would be interested to hear what you thought or felt were the hardest elements to work through in your path to simplicity. where did you discover both personal (inward) and familial/cultural (outward) resistance? how did you work your way out of that paradigm and into your new one?

am i making any sense?

anyway, i'd love to hear it here, if you'd like to share!
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