Simplicity for People and the PlanetBook - 2000
The voluntary simplicity movement has become stereotyped for being solely concerned with a thrifty life-style-but simple living has more implications than just cleaning closets and selling off a second car. In Stepping Lightly Burch considers not only the deeper rewards of voluntary simplicity for individuals, but the practice of simple living as a thoughtful approach to solving modern social and environmental problems. Burch begins by asking the question: how can a person best live so as to be love, to be non-violence, and to be in harmony with ourselves, other people, and the Earth? With an engaging and eloquent style, Burch offers an answer to this question by first exploring the meaning of "voluntary simplicity"-which turns out to be much richer and more complex than is first apparent-and then evolving the concept of simple living beyond personal enrichment to a powerful tool for making a better world. Global consumerism is destroying human communities and the natural environment. Burch persuasively argues that the individual practice of voluntary simplicity is an essential part of the solution to the overall problem of sustaining human communities and the planet into the distant future. He asserts that one's personal commitment to voluntary simplicity forms the individual and cultural foundation which liberates time, money, and creative energy-allowing for both individual activism and collective problem solving. Readers from a variety of perspectives-whether already engaged in simple living or searching for a deeply committed approach to actively promoting a sustainable society, economy, and planet-will find here a wealth of intelligent and compassionate arguments for living lightly for both the soul and for the Earth. Mark Burch is the author of Simplicity: Notes, Stories and Exercises for Developing Unimaginable Wealth. He has practiced simple living since the 1960s and is a freelance writer, speaker, workshop leader, and teacher of college courses on voluntary simplicity. He lives in Manitoba, Canada.