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 Do you really need it?

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vgmkyle

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Join date : 2010-01-27

PostSubject: Do you really need it?   Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:26 pm

I'm going to take things out of my old philosophy shoe box and get other opinions and maybe preferences from readers like you!

Recently I've been reading Thoreau's "Walden and Other Writings" (I found it cheap at a used book store.) and the main flavor of the work, so far, is simplicity. He states that if we were to live simply we would be better off. We'd be less stressed, less in debt, have to work less, and have far more time to devote to personal improvement and spiritual and mental advancement and refining.

I was wondering if this applies today, instead of in the 1800's. Would we be better off without a house with television, computers, appliances and the like? Okay, maybe not THAT simple, but the concept remains. Modest house, cheap transportation if any at all, and perhaps a computer with internet and a word processor. I only concede the point of the computer because the way I write and express and develop my character is all with a computer. My handwriting is too slow and poor to make much of a penman.

But the point is, should we strive so hard to advance our careers and formal education, or should we just work to get by and devote our time and energy to personal projects and study? Read books and write stories and poems and articles instead of playing video games or watching television/movies, and going out to shop and socialize and spend money? Would it be more emotionally healthy and less stressful? And even if it was, is it really worth it?
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Join date : 2010-01-18
Age : 27
Location : Somewhere Under the Neon Lights, Las Vegas, Nevada

PostSubject: Simplicity.   Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:27 am

Simplicity to me, is better and I think if we lived a more "simple" life style we would be a lot better off.

Lets take material items for instance. Do we really need a majority
of the things that we choose to buy? 6 times out of 10 they'll end
up in the back of a cupboard or begin to collect dust elsewhere.
And whats with such expensive prices at malls and other stores?

You can find something in perfect condition at a thrift store,
the only difference between that and something bought in a
superstore, mall, etc is that its been used.
This goes with clothes as well, people spend an unbelievable
amount of money on clothes that they only wear once.

Oops. I sort of got of topic of the orignial question. I guess it truly depends on the person but I personally think that the world would be a lot better off if they wrote poetry/stories/songs/etc, created artwork&&music and read more (and this isnt counting the internet!) Everyone is so caught up in this technological world, surfing the web, watching tv, and playing video games they forget about the other things in life. There is no talent in playing a video game -well er maybe there is from someone else's point of view but I think if people channeled the energy that they put into killing zombies back into something like writing or music the result could be beautiful.

As for spending money. People do it way to much, because they get bored and think, well since I have the money I have nothing better to do then spend it. In history class when Canfield was talking about the man who said" People should be able to make as much money as they want, but after they make it they should give it away," got me thinking. People should be free to make as much money as they want, but they should do something productive with it. Instead of throwing it away into materialistic items and creating a never ending cycle.

An education is important, but I dont want to spend the next 5 years of my life in a desk. I spent 15 years doing that already, its time to get out and see the world. Dont get me wrong I want to go to college but there are so many things that interest me Id probably change my mind on my career after I get my degree :]

If a career makes someone happy then thats what they should do. Nothing should hold them back but there is a line between healthy work and pushing the envelope for stressing yourself out. There should be a equal balance between work and leisure...and where that balance lies is up to that person.
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Firefly

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PostSubject: Re: Do you really need it?   Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:04 am

The only problem I have with what you said about everyone spending more time and energy on writing or music or art is that not everyone is good at writing or music or art. Some people really are only talented with analytical things like law or science. And that's okay. Everyone has their own talents and we each need to embrace our talents, and we can each do this in different ways.

I hate to be that annoyingly naive kid with the high pitched voice in back who always suggests relativity but the truth is, everything is relative. Everyone has their own ideas of simplicity. To a teenager whose about to graduate high school and forced to figure out what to do with his life, simplicity may be hanging out in a grungy garage playing video games and doing absolutely nothing else. And that in itself can be simple.

Our own ideas about simplicity come from our ideas about essentials. This is also relative. Everyone has their own ideas on what is essential to them. Obviously there are the universal essentials such as food, water, oxygen. But beyond that, if you were to ask a hundred people to choose only three things to have in their lives, given that they already have food, water and oxygen, every single one of those one hundred people will give you a different combination of items.

A person might look in another's life and say that person spends too much thought on such and such. But that such and such might actually calm that person down, make their lives feel more simple. Believe it or not, there are people who shop in order to relax and feel simple. Shopping isn't complicated, you want-you buy. And to some, that is the perfect simplicity.

I suppose my point is, one person's simplicity might not be another's.
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vgmkyle

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PostSubject: Re: Do you really need it?   Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:54 pm

Firefly wrote:
The only problem I have with what you said about everyone spending more time and energy on writing or music or art is that not everyone is good at writing or music or art. Some people really are only talented with analytical things like law or science. And that's okay. Everyone has their own talents and we each need to embrace our talents, and we can each do this in different ways.

I hate to be that annoyingly naive kid with the high pitched voice in back who always suggests relativity but the truth is, everything is relative. Everyone has their own ideas of simplicity. To a teenager whose about to graduate high school and forced to figure out what to do with his life, simplicity may be hanging out in a grungy garage playing video games and doing absolutely nothing else. And that in itself can be simple.

Our own ideas about simplicity come from our ideas about essentials. This is also relative. Everyone has their own ideas on what is essential to them. Obviously there are the universal essentials such as food, water, oxygen. But beyond that, if you were to ask a hundred people to choose only three things to have in their lives, given that they already have food, water and oxygen, every single one of those one hundred people will give you a different combination of items.

A person might look in another's life and say that person spends too much thought on such and such. But that such and such might actually calm that person down, make their lives feel more simple. Believe it or not, there are people who shop in order to relax and feel simple. Shopping isn't complicated, you want-you buy. And to some, that is the perfect simplicity.

I suppose my point is, one person's simplicity might not be another's.

Here is what I believe. Everyones purpose on Earth is to change it. And what you say about music, writing and art isn't correct -- though I agree that I should have added sciences and law everyone that is mentally capable has the power and capacity to master one of those crafts. It's the video games and the shopping that does not bring fourth any simplicity. Yes, the activities can become easy after doing them over and over again, but the biggest problem with the two examples you mention is mental issues that consume the consumer. I have a friend that dropped school so he could play video games and it ruined his life. Such a simple task required so much. Prices for the games, penalties for the working parents that support the games, lack of sleep, lack of learning, lack of social skills to get into the workforce... his whole world collapsed because of his need to play games. Simplicity? More of a travesty. Now he's back in school, trying to get a job, trying to find his craft at his late age all because of the games he spent too much time with.

If all strive for excellence, mentally they will be much happier with themselves and simplicity will follow.
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