Saturday, January 31, 2009

Living simply

Today we heard Andre Bothma speak on the topic "A Christian response to the global economic crisis". Andre is a member of our congregation, busy with his MBA, and from the content of his presentation, we can be sure to still hear a lot about his work in the business sector.

The crux of his talk: Live simply and simply live. The consumer culture which has gripped the world is a chronic disease, which strips people of their humanity while trying to find self in the objects of our desire. The projected "cure" for this disease is to put more money in everybody's pockets in order to stimulate the economy by spending. Isn't this like a drug addiction, hitting a low just to get to another high?

A long-term solution to this problem is not in empowering people to fall into debt again. The answer lies in living simply, not buying with money we don't have (sorry for the double negative). Living simply does not mean being frugal either. It is the choice to deny being a slave to our consumerism and overspending.

He concluded his talk with a simple exercise, which was a real eye-opener to me personally.

Draw up a list of 10 things which you enjoy doing. If you struggle to get 10 (as I did), it may mean that you are caught up with other things and not allowing yourself joy and life). Now draw up a list of things that occupy your time. Compare the two lists. Is there any way in which you can change your habits to start focussing on the things that are really important?

I'll expand on this post later. Gotta think some more about my prioritites.

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