I have been incorporating more and more aspects of simple living and the zero waste lifestyle into my own of late, so when I came across Stuffocation: Living More With Less I was intrigued.
With the exception of books and crystals, which I seem to be gathering to myself with the gravitational force of the Sun, I am trying to live a less materialistic lifestyle. I was never overly materialistic to begin with but, like a lot of people, in the past I wasn’t so mindful or conscious of what I was buying.
In all honestly, I don’t think minimalism would work for me. Of course, if I had to (and I did have to once, when backpacking around Australia), I could live off only what belongings I could fit into a backpack. But, I wouldn’t choose to live that way. That being said, I don’t want to live a life full of, or constantly in pursuit of, things.
I don’t want to give the game away because I think you should all read Stuffocation for yourselves and see what Wallman has to say, but I think that his theories and suggestions are spot on. His ideas are realistic and borne from an understanding of human spirit and mentality, so it is easy to see where he is coming from.
He also covers a variety of lifestyles adopted by people who got fed up of the materialistic, work-based slog and made changes to find more freedom, peace and simplicity, and we get up close with these people in some very enlightening interviews (these range from incredibly successful and wealthy people bereft of meaning and purpose, to those whose stressful lives caused ill health and needed broader healing).
So, if you feel like making a change, spending your money more mindfully and purposefully, and would like – as one of Wallman’s interviewees put it – to live “life outside the cage of the modern world”, I would recommend Stuffocation as an interesting, passionate and thought-provoking read that is informative without being overly heavy or preachy.
“In today’s culture, material goods have become substitutes for deep and genuinely meaningful human desires and questions. Consumer culture has become a sort of pseudo-religion. Instead of pondering meaningful questions, like ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What happens after death?’, ‘How should I live?’, it’s easier to focus on questions like ‘The blue or the red one?’ “
As always, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you read a book along a similar vein? I’d love to know!
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