What A Former Monk Can Teach Us About Living Simply
Life is simple, so why do we insist on making it so complicated?
Satish Kumar is a former Jain monk, activist and the founder of Schumacher College, a groundbreaking institution set up in 1990.
The college was inspired by, and named after, E.F. Schumacher, the economist, environmentalist and author of Small is Beautiful – Economics As if People Mattered.
It’s a book that has had a big impact on me.
In the early 1990s (showing my age now) I studied Economics at University and remember reading the book during my studies. I loved it as it provided a much needed counter balance to the traditional view of economics – one that promotes bigger as better.
“GDP measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile.” Bobby Kennedy
It has also influenced our thinking at The Happy Startup School — that growth for growth’s sake is unsustainable, and also not a measure of success every business or economy should strive for.
In a recent talk (see video below) Satish Kumar explains why economic growth based on materialism is unsustainable. He shares some ways that we can all embrace a life of elegant simplicity in his charming and no nonsense delivery, which I’ve summarised below:
1. Live near to where you work (and walk there) 👞
“If we all walked to work, there’d be no rush hour traffic. We live in a society where it’s as if we have no legs.”
2. Get lost in nature 🍃
“Wilderness is very important in our lives. Everything is too contained, too civilised. We need to go wild.”
3. Work less 🐢
“If you simplify your life, you need less money, because you have more time – for yourself, your family and friends.”
4. Start making ✎
“Gardening, cooking, poetry, these are all from your own imagination— invent something new. Live like a poet. ”
5. Whatever you do, make it beautiful ❤️
“We are all artists. Whatever you do, treat it as an art. It’s the only way we can create things that will endure.”
Watch the full talk here
⛺️ Join 150 changemakers this September and get inspired, meet peers and live simply for a few days – more info at www.happystartupsummer.camp