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Book review: Simple Living in History

October 10, 2014

Simple Living: Yesterday, Today and Into the future – A review by Jeremy Williams of ‘Simple Living in History’ – Pioneers of the Deep Future

Make Wealth History

simple-living-in-historySimple living, paring back our lives to focus on the things that matter most, is not a new idea. All through history people have advocated simpler living – for happiness, for virtue, for God, or for the earth. It’s always been there in our wisdom traditions. It may be more important now than it has ever been.

That’s because in the past, simple living was a matter of wisdom and a lifestyle choice. Today it may be a matter of survival. As the climate changes and resource stocks deplete, we are being forced to re-consider our assumptions about development, and the stories we tell ourselves about the good life. Simpler ways of living may be inevitable in the not too distant future, and the more deliberate we can be about it the better.

That doesn’t mean we need to return to some mythical pre-industrial golden age. As editors Samuel Alexander…

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