I've started a "SIMPLICITY" tag for this blog as well as a listing of Google Reader items down on the right side of these posts.
It's hard to be an observer of yourself, and so I don't claim to know how much of a trend this really is. I'm observing more people talking about simplicity, but does that really mean anything? Or am I just self-fulfilling my own assessment that people are talking more about simplicity?
But I suggest there are a few trends converging here. One is global warming. In the last year, and especially in the last few months, awareness has grown about this issue and awareness that excess consumption somehow is contributing. Two is the indication of a real estate meltdown. Anyone who has considered real estate investing has to have wondered if it's a bubble and how long it will last. I don't know if there's a meltdown happening and I also don't know what effect it will have on overall consumption. But it's got to have some impact. Simplicity and reducing consumption are not the same thing but they're inextricably linked. Three is our expanding recognition that health and wellness are goals on which we--not just our doctors--can have an impact, and that this doesn't only have to do with eating a balanced diet and getting exercise. It has to do with a mind set, an overall shift in our lifestyles that focusing on finding fulfillment, physical as well as spiritual. So again, physical consumption appears often to be at odds with spiritual consumption. And finally the war in Iraq. Although our President hasn't asked any of us to sacrifice (well, any of us who aren't associated with the military), really we are through increasing debt and decreasing security. And people are starting to realize this. Also, the black hole in which Americans and Iraqis find ourselves in Iraq, with no light in sight, has to be making people thinking more broadly, about mortality, our children's future, where this country is headed and less about the mundane and material.
Isn't that a strange convergence of disparate items? Global warming, too much debt (especially against our largest assets, our real estate), health and wellness, and the war in Iraq?