May 22, 2017

Simple Living Manifesto

The Not Buying Anything

I am living simply in order to learn some truths about the world and myself. I am living simply to oppose the forces of a brutal and violent exploitation of people and planet. I fight with gentleness and kindness born by keeping my expectations realistic and wholesome.

Living a simple life liberates me from the lies and myths of the dominant consumer culture. In stripping my life to the essentials, I take back my birthright as a free human and can share my discoveries with as little interference as possible.

I will rethink everything I have been taught, and remember what I am doing here on this beautiful planet, at this beautiful moment in time. Simplicity is as close to perfection as we can get.

This is why I will continue to maintain a simple life: to eliminate all manufactured distractions, to live slowly and deliberately, to really live and feel. I will not be a cog in their machine and support a dead end way of life. I will not be part of the shopping dead.

I want my life to be an example to others. I want my message to be one of possibilities, freedom, and connection. I want to blow away the unnecessary and replace it with the essential. I want to live and speak freely.

Our success isn’t measured in money, or possessions, or fame. The success game has always been rigged in order to keep us in line and exhibiting culturally appropriate behaviours that support a corrupted and broken system. I may not have much, but am I enjoying life? Am I challenging myself to take advantage of all events to learn and become a better person? Am I living in the moment? Do I feel at peace and harmony? Do I feel the freedom that all of humanity should be enjoying?

I don’t live simply in order to save the world. That is a tall order for one person. I live this way to plumb the depths of reality minus the filter of cultural programming, and belittling propaganda. That will save me. I might be able to help others save themselves. Then, when we reach a critical mass, our simple lives will affect everything.

I have decided that the best possible life comes from tapping into the universal wisdom, from living fearlessly and with the utmost integrity, without apology or explanation. You do not need stuff to do that.

I believe a simple life is armour against a global assault that tries to force us to feel small and insignificant. We are neither. I share this simple living manifesto to inspire, and remind all people of the freedom and joy that can be had when you choose simplicity as your way of life. It represents the path back to an empowered citizenship, connection, and contentment.

A simple life that is materially sparse, but spiritually rich, opens the door to experience life without limits, as it is meant to be lived. Refusing to participate in the destruction that is the modern, consumer dream allows one to return to participating in the creative side of things, to be an artist again. Through making your life your art, the truth will be revealed, and it will be amazing.

Against all odds, we must fight the forces of progress for profit with voluntary simplicity. The time to act is getting shorter every day. The best time to start living a more simple, enjoyable life is now. This very moment.

Get started, and transform your life. In the process, we will transform the world.


  1. Anonymous5/22/2017

    Why chase things all the time. Let go and enjoy what's around you that's the key. Watching the seasons change. Like the Zen saying:

    Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.

    We are programmed by our unhealthy culture and filter meaning through this, never getting understanding about things. Through practice you realise how wrong the culture is. If understanding was a mountain in the wilderness with no connections or roads to get there while common interpretation of things was available through a road system this would be the difference between the two approaches. We have been programmed by this road system so ignore all the other dimensions of life.


    1. Alex,

      I do believe that the world needs more people to do nothing. Sit in a room, alone, and do nothing. Humans have a very hard time doing that, but it sure would prevent a lot of problems, and eventually we would come to understand things better.

  2. Anonymous5/22/2017

    This is a frank, inspiring summation of a beautiful and tru philosophy of Life. I am grateful for it this morning. Thank you, Gregg and Linda...

    1. Erin,

      Thank you. I have been thinking about writing my manifesto for a long time, so I am glad you enjoyed it. It was fun to write, and share.

  3. This is tremendously inspiring. Hearing that you are not trying to change the world relieves a burden for me, defines something I've struggled with. Thank you friends for your guidance and modeling. Your dedication and integrity shines boldly through your blog. Terri

    1. Terri,

      We can't do everything, but we can do something. And when we do that something, it affects everything else in the web of life. We are all connected. It all matters, feats great and small. I hope you take some time to recognize that you are a good person doing good things. Remember to relax, breathe, and experience the now. Good to hear from you in our comment section. Take care.

  4. Thank you Gregg and Linda for expressing this so beautifully. This is one post I'm going to read over and over.

    1. Marla,

      It feels like my whole life has been leading to this manifesto. I was a quiet, thoughtful child, that wanted to be a writer since elementary school. "Writer" was not one of the usual answers to "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

      I have always loved reading, writing, and being in nature. Since leaving the working world, I have been able to get back to the things I love so much. This post is a culmination of all that, plus the past 9 years of keeping this blog.

      Thank you for being with us for so long during this adventure. There is a part of all of you wonderful NBA readers/commenters in this manifesto. I channeled it, but it is a part of all of us.

  5. Anonymous5/23/2017

    This is a great summary of why we do what we do, I might link to this everywhere.

    1. Rob,

      It feels like "we" wrote this. We are part of a movement that is rarely taken seriously in hyper-capitalist consumer cultures. But we are here, and we are growing. We are getting together. We are making a difference, and we are enjoying it.

      Thanks for the feedback. Links are appreciated.

  6. thankyou! i feel like i've just found my people. of course, i've always known there's others like me out there, but we're all just so good at "living quietly" that this is the first/best i can recall seeing my life choices articulated publicly and accurately 🖤

    1. We do love that. Thank you to your thank you.

  7. Anonymous11/13/2021

    Consumerism is the dystopia

    1. It is becoming clearer every single day.


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