Sunday, May 17, 2015

Choosing to Live Simply

Stories like this Piss Me Off!

She's a French Accountant who owns a house in France, which is being rented and is making her money. She *chooses* not to use that money. She has financial security, she has an education, she is French and does at least admit that because she's French she has privilege that illegal immigrants from quite a few other countries simply wouldn't have.

Pretentious, privileged people who *choose* to "live off the waste of others" get cute little articles written up about them - articles that shame homeless people for not wanting to eat food that comes from the garbage.

People who choose to live simply, people who choose not to spend the money they have, people who have financial security to back up their life if they ever face a crises of any kind, need to check their privilege. The difference between choosing to live simply and having no choice but to live simply is a vast chasm.

If you've never lived simply because society doesn't value the work that you do enough to pay you a living wage, because you have never had mental or physical limitations, because you've never faced prejudice, because of so many variables beyond your control, then don't hold your values and choices up as superior. You just don't get it, you can't really, unless you've lived it.

Here's the article that brought about the above rant: 

How to live a middle-class life in New York City on less than $5,000 a year
Marie is a French woman living in Brooklyn who has no job, no visa, and lives in a three-story house for free. Her secret: living off the waste of others

Marie was mixing basil for pesto on the kitchen counter of a brownstone in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn when the doorbell rang. Her friend Janet Kalish was early for lunch: the butternut squash was still cooking. “I found kilos of carrots yesterday,” Kalish said joyfully. “I have to give them away before they turn bad!”
Kalish had collected the carrots on the street, just like the parmesan Marie was grating had been rescued from the trash. The pair became friends when Marie started dumpster diving three years ago.
Drifting from the American philosophy of incessant consumption, some have adapted to a system of interdependence and sharing – and eating for free is just the first step.
Marie lives a New York middle-class life spending less than $5,000 a year. Kalish, who travels more, needs $10,000. They work, eat, have a home, but there’s no rent bill or grocery shopping. No regular salary, even. Money isn’t their currency.
Marie is a petite, black-haired French woman who looks just like the conventional fortysomething Brooklynite. But she has no job, no visa, and lives in a three-story house for free. Living in the US also comes with an additional bit of daring: she’s an illegal immigrant. For privacy reasons, she asked to be identified with her first name only.

Read the rest of this article HERE.

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