Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Joy of Less

The New York Times has a nice article on how having less, might be having more... Joy! While I'm no where near Pico Iyer in simplifying my life, I do have experience with forgoing with something that I prized, only to find out that life was just fine without it. And perhaps better.

I remember when I was a child, not having TV for month while it was at the repair shop. I found other things to do that were probably more useful, anyways, like doing my homework, or doing things with my family. Or riding my bike. When the TV came back, I was excited, and things eventually settled back into the normal pattern, mostly forgetting my life without TV. It was many years before I broke free of the TV, again. My current TV is a just a DVD player that isn't often used.

Pico is someone who has really gone all the way on this simplicity. No media, no car, no bike... What! No bike? Well that sounds a little bit too extreme, for me. I mean, maybe I don't need 10 bikes, but not having a bike doesn't seem the same as throwing the TV out. I don't see my bike as a vice to be tossed out, in order to clear the ground of distractions. It's something that brings me into the world. I get to see and smell and touch the world around me.

I do admire Mr. Iyer's example of living more on less. We could all use a some getting by on less and a greater focus on what's really important to us. The whole world would be a better place if more of us chucked the unnecessary things in our lives. And hey, if you find your bike is getting in the way of your happiness, maybe you should go without...but why don't you start with the car first! ;)


anna said...

Very true indeed. Maybe I should also work on my internet addiction and go for a bike ride instead ;-).

spiderleggreen said...

yeah, that's one we're all working on. I try to cut down on useless, time killing things on the internet. Bikes not included. ;)

Jen said...

We are striving for balance while simplifying. We have cable tv (after three years without it) but we have a $12/month package that provides only the basics. Cellphones are rarely used and we have generally just tried to slow down the pace of our lives but I spend a little to much time on the internet. It's hard to get away from with all the great cycling blogs.