Notes & Quotes: Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin

Here are my favorite quotes from Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life that is Outwardly Simply, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin.  Numbered for convenience.
  1. To live more voluntarily is to live more consciously.
  2. To live more simply is to live more purposefully and with a minimum of needless distraction.
  3. This way of life is not a static condition to be achieved, but an ever-changing balance that must be consciously and continuously made real.
  4. Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has and attraction for you. - Gandhi
  5. To live peacefully, we must live with a reasonable degree of equity.
  6. ...if people in developed nations consume more than their fair share of the world's resources, then they are taking food, clothing, and other essentials from those who are in great need.
  7. He who knows he has enough is rich. - Lao Tzu
  8. Our stay on earth is brief and people should place much of their love and attention on things eternal.
  9. Common denominator of the simple life: the understanding that the making of money and the accumulation of things should not smother the purity of the soul, the life of the mind, the cohesion of the family, or the good of society.
  10. The character of a whole society is the cumulative result of the countless small actions, day in and day out, of millions of persons.
  11. Even the smallest action done with a loving appreciation of life can touch other human beings in profound ways.
  12. Greater simplicity frees time, energy and attention for personal growth, family relationships, participation in compassionate causes and other meaningful and satisfying activities.
  13. Small changes that are seemingly inconsequential when viewed in isolation are of revolutionary significance in their cumulative impact.
  14. To break through the superficiality of a consumerist existence and deepen our appreciation of life, we can remember that it is the universe that is our home and that death is our ally.
  15. If we do not become conscious of our automated patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving, then we become, by default, human automatons.
  16. We are so busy creating ever more appealing images or social facades for others to see, and so distracted from the simplicity of our spontaneously arising self, that we do not truly encounter either ourselves or one another.
  17. In an era dominated by hideously complex problems of global dimension, the ability to see the world more clearly is essential to the survival and well-being of the human family.
  18. The ultimate responsibility for growth, irrespective of cultural setting, remains with the individual.
  19. Much of the solution to poverty lies in the voluntary actions of those who live in relative abundance and thereby have the real opportunity consciously to simplify their lives and assist others.
  20. The hallmark of a balanced simplicity is that our lives become clearer, more direct, less pretentious, and less complicated.
  21. Four "Consumption Criteria": 1. Does what I own or buy promote activity, self reliance, and involvement, or does it induce passivity and dependence? 2. Are my consumption patterns basically satisfying, or do I buy much that serves no real need? 3. How tied are my present job and lifestyle to installment payments, maintenance and repair costs, and the expectations of others? 4. Do I consider the impact of my consumption patterns on other people and on the earth?
  22. By programming television to achieve commercial success, the mind-set of entire nations is being programmed for ecological failure.
  23. In weakening others, we are weakening ourselves.
Which are your favorites?  Share in the comments and/or pick up a copy.