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How simply do you live?

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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

How simply do you live?

Old 09-10-13, 03:27 AM
  #1451  
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My neighbors use Hulu, I haven't bothered to check into it. I don't watch that much television to begin with. We have an old rotatory antenna that I can get the local news station with. My wife loves old movies so we have a pretty substantial data based saved on our NAS at home.

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Old 09-10-13, 08:14 AM
  #1452  
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For those of you who are getting rid of things you no longer need or use, do you hold a yard sale, take them to a charity thrift store or just throw out with the trash?
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Old 09-10-13, 08:34 AM
  #1453  
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Losing it in the divorce was how I did my last big clean out.
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Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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Old 09-10-13, 09:49 AM
  #1454  
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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
For those of you who are getting rid of things you no longer need or use, do you hold a yard sale, take them to a charity thrift store or just throw out with the trash?
I tried giving away most of my stuff. Unfortunately I picked a holiday weekend to do it. I got rid of about thirty boxes of things but had over sixty remaining. Most of my furniture was taken too. Now I have a piano bench, a coffee table, and a stool. I can also count my filing cabinets placed side by side with a piece of plywood across them to make a desk. It is the only furniture I'm actually using in my new rented room. Everything else is supplied.

My next phase will depend upon whether or not I get a new local job. I have a local job but want something better. If I get this one it will be just for two days per week. I'll keep my storage unit and sell the things of value on my days off until they're gone. The remainder will be donated.

If I don't get the job I intend to find somebody to buy my valuables in a bulk deal. I have collectables that a dealer could buy and a set of specialized text books and audio lectures that could go to another dealer. The remainder of the things will be donated, minus my few personal mementos and some financial documents. I intend to purchase a record player that can convert my vinyl records to digital format and then sell the records or give them away. After that I'll sell the record player. I also need to buy a dedicated photo scanner to do the same with my photographs. The HP scanner I have now is just slow when recording high resolution images. Any suggestions?

Why would I give away so many items that have value or sell them at super discounted prices? There is a job out of state I could take that pays much more money than the one I'm trying to get locally. I'm certain it would take me over a month to liquidate things by selling them. That extra month spent selling my things wouldn't get me as much as I could earn at the job. So I would be getting rid of things quickly and saving that month for more profitable work.

No matter whether I get the local job or not, once everything is gone I'm moving someplace warmer for the winter.
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Old 09-10-13, 05:52 PM
  #1455  
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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
For those of you who are getting rid of things you no longer need or use, do you hold a yard sale, take them to a charity thrift store or just throw out with the trash?
All of the above. My favorite is to donate and take the tax write off.

Aaron
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RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 09-14-13, 08:46 AM
  #1456  
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Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
For those of you who are getting rid of things you no longer need or use, do you hold a yard sale, take them to a charity thrift store or just throw out with the trash?
Yes.

During both my purges, in 2004 and 2009, I sold a number of items (as much as I could), I tossed a lot of stuff, and I donated quite a bit to charities/thrift stores.
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Old 09-14-13, 09:01 AM
  #1457  
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
If a sink hole opened up and swallowed everything you own, and you had an insurance policy that would cover 100% of the loss with money to replace everything, no matter how old or worn out it was, what would you do?
In a way, we've sort of been there, done that.

I made 2 significant purges of my stuff (2004 and 2009) and got it all down to 300 cubic feet, which I put into storage. Rowan made one significant purge in 2005, and then lost much of his stuff in the 2009 bushfires here.

When I moved to Australia to be with Rowan, we lived in a very rustic shack in the hills for a year with next to nothing. And by rustic, I mean completely off the grid. Probably about 2 km away from the grid.


But what have we done since then? We've replaced it all and then some. We both lived very simply, with very little, from 2004/2005 until 2009 ... and then even more simply between 2009 and 2010. And then we decided we had enough of that.
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Old 09-16-13, 04:09 AM
  #1458  
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Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
DVDs from the library are another good source.
I'm getting more of the MUSIC content I prefer from buying RCA SELECTAVISION (CED) titles from the 1980s...a shrinkwrapped copy of Quadrophenia arrived a couple days ago, and Paul McCartney and Wings' Rockshow, Kenny Loggins and even a Mister Magoo feature are on the way.

Junk CAN be fun.
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Old 09-18-13, 07:53 PM
  #1459  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
But what have we done since then? We've replaced it all and then some. We both lived very simply, with very little, from 2004/2005 until 2009 ... and then even more simply between 2009 and 2010. And then we decided we had enough of that.

It's amazing how all this stuff sort of collects on you. I try not to buy things, and generally don't, but then people give me things (especially old bikes...) or I need a book and can't find it at the library.

It builds up fast.
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Old 10-20-13, 07:19 PM
  #1460  
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The Mrs. and I are trying a bit of a social experiment next year. We have pared down and minimized what we thought we needed, but have found that the crap keeps coming back. So, our social experiment is to not make any brand new purchases unless it is required to repair something that we already have. Otherwise it will be purchased used with the exception of a few things (i.e. food, undergarments, etc.) The goal is to see where the excesses are and to save up to get into a house. Apartment living is okay, but we would like a place to call our own and not have to climb 3 flights of stairs to get there. We are doing the planning still but plan on kicking off at the first of the year. We will be continuing through the year and if all goes well into 2015
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Old 10-20-13, 07:51 PM
  #1461  
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Welcome Gryph3n. It is interesting that your very first post on Bikeforums was in this thread. How did you find it? You've been a member since 2008. This must have been an inspirational thread for you.

We've all got to start somewhere and your experiment will be interesting. It will probably be easy because you aren't doing anything extreme. That means you might like it so much that you continue it.
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Old 10-20-13, 08:43 PM
  #1462  
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Originally Posted by Gryph3n View Post
The Mrs. and I are trying a bit of a social experiment next year. We have pared down and minimized what we thought we needed, but have found that the crap keeps coming back. So, our social experiment is to not make any brand new purchases unless it is required to repair something that we already have. Otherwise it will be purchased used with the exception of a few things (i.e. food, undergarments, etc.) The goal is to see where the excesses are and to save up to get into a house. Apartment living is okay, but we would like a place to call our own and not have to climb 3 flights of stairs to get there. We are doing the planning still but plan on kicking off at the first of the year. We will be continuing through the year and if all goes well into 2015
Some people try to go a week, a month, or longer without buying anything at all, other than food. We had some posts about this idea a while back. At that time, going a long time without making purchases was a foreign and difficult concept for me. Now I do it all the time without even thinking about it.

I was surprised to learn that most of my purchases were impulsive or even compulsively made. It's been really good for me to have a week or more to think about it before I buy anything.
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Old 10-21-13, 03:39 AM
  #1463  
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Since I live on a fixed budget and it's all spent in the first week to maybe two tops each month I tend to get all my stuff cheap in that week,

Of course the lion's share went to eating, rent, utilities, a lot of fixing both bikes and then fixing my needed stereo gear. I buy all the cat food at the start of the month too so the cats are good for the month.

If you are really good at being cheap you can make an AMAZING MESS!
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Old 10-21-13, 09:17 AM
  #1464  
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Our philosophy has generally been: If you cannot eat it or it is medically necessary we probably don't need it. Repairs are considered on a case by case basis. I have a riding lawn mower go down earlier this year, spent about $200 on parts to get the other one running, the first one needs about the same (wasn't as terminal as originally thought) so now I have ANOTHER winter project to deal with

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 10-27-13, 03:15 PM
  #1465  
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Pan & Bowl

In the past I would keep several aluminum pans around that originally held pies. They were good for heating food. I would use about ten of them over a week. I used a few big plates too. After each was used it would go into the dish washing machine where it would be washed with everything else I used over the week. Now that I share a home with others I don't have full control over the dish washing machine. Therefore I can't fill it with only my things and wait days to clean them.

My solution is to use just one pan and one bowl and clean them immediately after use. I know that aluminum isn't the ideal metal for cooking because it can leach unhealthy particles into certain foods that react with it. I came across a really good solution. I found a 9" stainless steel baking pan with vertical sides. It is much stiffer than the thinner pie pans. It doesn't have any non-stick coating on it and this one doesn't have any admonitions about using it in a dish washing machine (though I don't use one now).

This pan is great for heating food and using as a plate. This isn't a solution for anybody wanting their kitchen table to look pretty. This is my functional cookware/dinner ware. It is part of my simple living lifestyle.

My other main eating tool is a huge bowl. This probably originated as a serving bowl. It is just about as wide as the baking pan. I can cook a one pound can of beans or other things and dump it into this bowl and have enough room for another can. This is porcelain so it isn't perfect. If I ever drop it the thing will break. What I like about it is I don't need to worry about spilling food out of it because a single serving leaves plenty of room for sloshing. I hold it while eating and watching movies or reading internet forum posts.

As a single guy I find these two tools ideal for my situation. I don't need more pans or bowls. I don't entertain at home. I do own other bowls and plates. They are in storage and I intend to donate them when I clean out my storage unit. I already gave away most of my plates and bowls at my garage giveaway in May.

My mother had at least two sets of plates and silverware. When I was small I had my own set of unbreakable plates. I have a cousin who owns a different set of plates for every holiday. These days I can't imagine keeping around so much stuff. It almost seems gross to me that anybody would keep so many items around. I'm not judging them. It just repulses me.

I have difficulty describing how I feel these days about keeping a lot of things around me. Keeping lots of things around would seem like adding weight to my body. Would I want to add 200 pounds to my already overweight 150 pound body? How would I move? How would I be able to run, jump, and climb? Everything would be so much harder with all of that extra weight. I now look at unused possessions like dead weight that requires my extra attention and extra effort to handle. I just don't want it around.

I have certainly changed since my early years when I wanted to be wealthy and have all that goes with it. I don't want to say I've evolved because that implies that wanting less is the better lifestyle. To me, at this time, having less is the better choice. It doesn't mean that I can't look at an opulent mansion and enjoy its beauty. It just means I don't want to be attached to so much mass right now.

Does anybody else feel something similar?


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Old 10-28-13, 09:16 PM
  #1466  
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
My solution is to use just one pan and one bowl and clean them immediately after use.
I have one cast iron frying pan that my wife inherited from her grandmother. That's all I need to cook.... and it very handy since my microwave died.

But I have a huge number of bowls. I am constantly trying to offload them.

Anyone need a bowl?
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Old 10-29-13, 01:31 AM
  #1467  
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Fill up donation boxes every year with things you haven't used, anything that is a bit large/hefty roll it out to the curb and someone will take it.
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
It doesn't mean that I can't look at an opulent mansion and enjoy its beauty. It just means I don't want to be attached to so much mass right now.

Does anybody else feel something similar?
The gorgeous house, but simple and uncluttered on the inside
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Old 11-03-13, 08:05 PM
  #1468  
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I've been a minimalist since I was about 18, although I never new there was anyone else like me, or that there was even a term for it until just a few months ago. All of my life I never really cared about "things"
although I did go through a phase in high school where I cared about how I looked alot because I was young and naive and thought girls cared about clothes and things...haha. Anyway now at the age of 21 I only have a handful of things, all of which serve a purpose.

acoustic guitar,
sound speaker,
a book riser(holds book at 45 degree angle for reading),
2 hardback books,
a kindle with over 200 books on it(really saves space, I recommend it)
a metal watch(will last forever as long as I replace the battery),
headphones, an ipod,
book reading light,
small faux- electric candle(replicates candle light, uses almost no electricity and is much safer than candles),
7 button up shirts, 5 solid black t-shirts, 3 pants, 4 underwear, socks and other small miscelaneous things(a tie, gloves, etc)
2 pairs of shoes, a bike,
a 20 year old car that I bought cash for $900,
a backpack, dufflebag, and a laptop
and a washboard and bucket( I handwash and Line-dry all of my clothing)

that is everything I own. The biggest(size wise) things are the guitar and the speaker(1x1.5x1) and both easily fit in a trunk or back seat of a car. everything else can fit in 1 duffle bag.

If I wanted to, I could put everything in the dufflebag and backpack(minus the guitar/speaker, bucket, which I would happily donate) and leave on a bus/bike/car/ whatever, whenever, wherever. I have no bills besides the $400 room I rent, the small gas bills for driving, and food; I do not own a cell phone or a tv.

I have nothing holding me down, and surprisingly it IS very hard to keep it that way. Things just sort of accumulate if you are not careful, even if you are like me and don't really value anything material; it sort of just happens and that is where things go wrong for alot of people, they don't catch it before it gets out of control.

wish you all the best on achieving a simple lifestyle, less is definitely more!

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Old 11-03-13, 11:09 PM
  #1469  
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Jocoblighter I'm impressed with your ability to live with just those items. I've never tried washing clothing by hand other than trying to get a stain out of a shirt using a sink. Don't you have bedding or food preparation items? How about tools for your bicycle? It is these regular items that are really adding up in my collection of things. Just this week I've pared my list of items to keep to almost all functional items that I use daily. I have about fifteen items that are just mementos. All of them are small. I'm even going to pare down to just one computer. Eee-gads! How is that even possible?!!! (Dual booting with exernal hard drives)

Tonight I went to the store and a feeling told me to walk around to the luggage section. It was a good feeling. There is a new type of collapsible bag with wheels on the shelf. It is 30"X16''X13.5'' and when collapsed it is as big as a small briefcase. I might buy a couple of those to hold my things for my move. I've already got two bags of similar size. This is smaller than the equipment bags I intended to buy but their wheel feature and low price make them easier to move as well as economical.
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Old 11-04-13, 01:24 AM
  #1470  
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Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post
Jocoblighter I'm impressed with your ability to live with just those items. I've never tried washing clothing by hand other than trying to get a stain out of a shirt using a sink. Don't you have bedding or food preparation items? How about tools for your bicycle? It is these regular items that are really adding up in my collection of things. Just this week I've pared my list of items to keep to almost all functional items that I use daily. I have about fifteen items that are just mementos. All of them are small. I'm even going to pare down to just one computer. Eee-gads! How is that even possible?!!! (Dual booting with exernal hard drives)

Tonight I went to the store and a feeling told me to walk around to the luggage section. It was a good feeling. There is a new type of collapsible bag with wheels on the shelf. It is 30"X16''X13.5'' and when collapsed it is as big as a small briefcase. I might buy a couple of those to hold my things for my move. I've already got two bags of similar size. This is smaller than the equipment bags I intended to buy but their wheel feature and low price make them easier to move as well as economical.
Well to answer your question, I rent a room in a house that I do not own, which includes a fold out couch/bed. Everything is shared between me and 2 other people. It's a nice house in a good, safe part of town. Even then, I only ever use 1 fork, 1 spoon, 1 plate, one bowl, and one drinking container that doubles as my "on the go" water bottle.

The idea is not that you get rid of everything, it's that you get rid of everything you don't NEED because anything other than that is just wasted money that is going to end up in a landfill somewhere in a few years. Every month I go through everything I have and do the "30 days" check. If I havn't used something in 30 days I donate it or give it to a friend. Our lives are constantly changing, and we are constantly changing so it doesn't make sense that what was useful to us a a year ago or even a few months ago would be useful to us now. To hold on to things like that is to keep yourself from growing and changing in an organic and natural way.

Another very good idea is the concept of sharing with other people. We are brainwashed into believing that every single person needs their own "x" and you need to slave yourself to get a piece of what's "yours". Your only told that so you can go out and buy things to make other people rich, you don't actually need your own one of everything; that's just being greedy and selfish. The answer is to learn to help others and they will help you in return and you will never want for anything.

the concept of owning anything is an illusion perpetuated by advertisements and media brainwashing. we don't actually own anything, we are just borrowing it until we die. If someone were to steal my car and drive it to Mexico and sell it, would I still own it? Why not?, or more accurately what made it "mine" to begin with. Nothing, just some faded colorful pieces of paper. People are so blind that they don't even realize they spend all of their lives working just to make a few other people rich, while they get a little tiny share that ends up being spent on more crap that isn't needed, just to make those same people rich again. It's the biggest scam in history, and hardly anybody can actually see what's going on, they accept it without even a blink.
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Old 11-04-13, 08:27 AM
  #1471  
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Wow, I'm kind of jealous of you guys lol! I guess I'm what you would call a "wanna be minimalist" ??
I use the that term because for one guy, I have too much crap which really isn't necessary!
I have a tech/ electronic background so guess what I tend to pile up on? I also love rummage sales, so yeah not a good thing for someone who's trying to slim down in the crap department!

Anyway, Way too many clothes need to go, various cell phone crap, down to 3 cells now, 3 sets of headphones, all my cables will fill a crate by themselves, Laptop, tablet, 19" tv ( found on the curb) but it could go, all my music is on my newest of 3 phones, amateur radio equipment probably takes up the most room of 10-12 pieces, and my camping gear (survivalist also) which probably means the most to me, besides my bikes (2).
Everything I own fits into 3 large sterilite totes, a army duffel, 55 liter jansport backpack, another jeep duffel, and oh yeah, my waterproof aqua pack . I sleep on a intex single airbed, with my sleeping bags, and eat out of my camping mess kit!
Yep, did I say too much crap??
I need to get down to about half of what I own!
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Old 11-04-13, 12:36 PM
  #1472  
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Originally Posted by technoD View Post
I need to get down to about half of what I own!
Are your living quarters that cramped? Why do you "need to get down"?
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Old 11-04-13, 12:43 PM
  #1473  
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Originally Posted by jacoblighter View Post
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Another very good idea is the concept of sharing with other people. We are brainwashed into believing that every single person needs their own "x" and you need to slave yourself to get a piece of what's "yours". Your only told that so you can go out and buy things to make other people rich, you don't actually need your own one of everything; that's just being greedy and selfish. The answer is to learn to help others and they will help you in return and you will never want for anything.

the concept of owning anything is an illusion perpetuated by advertisements and media brainwashing. we don't actually own anything, we are just borrowing it until we die. If someone were to steal my car and drive it to Mexico and sell it, would I still own it? Why not?, or more accurately what made it "mine" to begin with. Nothing, just some faded colorful pieces of paper. People are so blind that they don't even realize they spend all of their lives working just to make a few other people rich, while they get a little tiny share that ends up being spent on more crap that isn't needed, just to make those same people rich again. It's the biggest scam in history, and hardly anybody can actually see what's going on, they accept it without even a blink.
You certainly know an awful lot about how "we" are brainwashed, and how "we" spend our lives, and about the biggest scam in history. Did you learn all that in school, reading the Internet, or from all your life experiences
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Old 11-04-13, 01:51 PM
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I'd say most of it from school and life experiences, a small amount from the internet. I try not to frequent the internet too much unless it's valuable places like these forums, or unless it's to watch a music video or something on youtube. I know I throw alot of definites out there, and there are exceptions to every rule and so forth, but for the most part anyone who was to just do a little "thinking" and also take some psychology courses, and some world history courses, and just observe how the world works outside of the human race for a change, would come to the same/similar conclusions as me. I've spoken to business/ advertising majors and they all pretty much agree that it's just a load of brainwashing, and that nobody really needs any of this stuff. They know this and they do it anyway, they are CONSCIOUSLY hurting the human race and they don't care because they are getting their share so they can feed their own buying addictions. We have become a race that values material posessions/ pieces of paper with numbers on them(money) over human life, and that is what bothers me most. People get murdered over $100 dollars; a piece of paper with the number 100 on it. That is worth more than a human life.

And if one were to want to just "leave the system" and try and do it alone, there is a very slim chance he/she would survive. They don't teach you how to survive in primary school, or in any school for that matter. Everything is just a preparation to get you to work for the system, not to really better yourself in any way. So in that way we are dependent on it, because without the system we would die. That makes us slaves to it. We are slaves to our obsession and addiction to buying inanimate objects, most of which serve no real purpose other than to look cool/cute/show social status, whatever.

The point of me saying this is that if one were to live a minimalistic lifestyle, and only own(for lack of better terms) what he/she needs, then you would not have to be constantly searching for more money to buy more things and you will not be(as much of) a slave. You will have more time for REAL LIFE, and learn to care for human beings and see them as actual people with a story and a purpose, rather than just another person walking by. You will start to value life, and the earth, and realize how fortunate we are rather than just complain about what you don't have. you will actually learn to think about meaningful things like life, loved ones,children, happiness, rather than think about what's on tv next, or what you can do to make more paper with numbers on it. You become an actual human being, and not a consumer machine. The world is a beautiful place, and we let it fly by us and waste our youth working and stressing needlessly.

p.s. I sense a bit of hostility in your message ILTB, I can assure you that I don't mean to offend anyone, just sharing my ideas. But honestly to me you sound like an addict who is told they are addicted. naturally denial and hostility follows, as well as rationalizing and finding reasons as to why that is not true. It's a process. I went through it, so does everyone else who "wakes up"(gosh that sounds so cheesy).

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Old 11-04-13, 02:02 PM
  #1475  
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Originally Posted by jacoblighter View Post
I'd say most of it from school and life experiences, a small amount from the internet.
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Thanks for an honest answer. Hope you find the right life for yourself and meet your goal in life.
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