Living With Less in the Land of More

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Many are reflecting on the stuff we own and how it owns us in this season of shopping and gift-giving. I read an excellent article recently about one family’s journey with their relationship to their stuff (Stuffed to the gills: How crap took over my life—and how I intend to take it back). So, I […]















Sacred Days and Desecrated Days

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There are no unsacred places; There are only sacred places And desecrated places. – from “How to Be a Poet” by Wendell Berry This year during Thanksgiving there were a number of stores having sales on Thursday already. This prompted a friend of mine to ask, “Is nothing sacred?” This is an oft-heard complaint about […]















The Shallow Pond Dilemma

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It seems appropriate in this time of gluttony and the consumer frenzy of consumerism known as Black Friday, to talk about the ethical dilemmas of the financial choices we make. A long time ago, I listened to Episode #100 of the Diet Soap podcast and it sparked a lot of thoughts and conversations, mostly with […]















Isn’t It Ironic…Don’t You Think?

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Unlike the Alanis Morisette hit, “Ironic”, which was in fact not at all ironic, I have come across some ironies in my work that strike me as worth mentioning and perhaps exploring more in depth. The world we live in seems full of these strange paradoxes, but they come in to stark relief in development […]















The DIY Lifestyle™

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Through our family’s journey to live more in tune with the planet and our neighbors we have gained a lot of new skills in the last few years. My wife has learned how to brew kefir, make cheese, knit, make bread and a lot of other food from scratch. I’ve built some things from scratch, […]















The New World Religion

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When considering a metaphor for describing a reality that is inherently difficult to grasp, it can be easy to lose your grip on the thing to which the metaphor points. The authors’ of Affluenza follow their metaphor closely and it works for the most part. The best part of their metaphor is that it makes […]















Affluenza: Causes

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The second part of the book Affluenza considers the causes of the disease of consumerism. Honestly it seemed somewhat lacking in depth. This is a complicated issue. Consider simply the question “What are the causes of poverty?” Books upon books have been written trying to describe the causes of one of the symptoms of our […]















Consumerism: Disease or Religion?

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The book (which was originally a series on PBS) Affluenza uses the metaphor of disease to try and understand the modern world, in particular the consumerism of North American culture. Following this metaphor the book is divided into three sections: symptoms, causes and treatments. Among other things the book is a pretty amazing compilation of […]















The Presence of Absence

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This poem is too short to quote from and make any sense. So, I will quote the whole thing. “The Want of Peace” from Openings (1968) by Wendell Berry All goes back to the earth, and so I do not desire pride of excess or power, but the contentments made by men who have had […]