At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like the President. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I didn’t really know him.
But later on, when I recognized God, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed God was in the back helping me pedal. I don’t know when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.
Misconceptions abound about the simple life. We can clarify simplicity as much by explaining what it isn’t as by delineating what it is.
Easy — Many equate “simple” with “easy” and become disillusioned with simple living when they find out how hard it can be. To bake your own bread or cut your own wood is not always the easiest way to accomplish chores. But doing them yourself allows for an invaluable independence.
Simplicity in its essence demands neither a vow of poverty nor a life of rural homesteading. As an ethic of self-conscious material moderation, it can be practiced in cities and suburbs, townhouses and condominiums. It requires neither a log cabin nor a hairshirt but a deliberate ordering of priorities so as to distinguish between the necessary and superfluous, useful and wasteful, beautiful and vulgar.
— David Shi, Historian and Simplicity Scholar