Friday 13 September 2013

The Quiet Revolution

" The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you are still a rat."
Lily Tomlin

"Normal is getting dressed in the clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you're still paying for in order to get to the job you need so you can pay for the clothes, cars and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it.
Ellen Goodman

No doubt the sentiments expressed in the second quote are familiar to many of us. Some people face this dilemma straight on and take action to change it. Mark Boyle, the moneyless man is one such individual. He has gone off at a tangent to live the life he wants.  He is  undoubtedly a trail blazer and I admire him for it but I am simply not that radical a person- I like my home comforts. Additionally, as far as I can fathom, others of us still have to earn money and buy things in order for him to make his lifestyle choice viable. I borrowed his first book from the library and found some useful pointers in it. His second book "The Moneyless Manifesto" is available online free to read [you'll need to copy and paste the link] from here

My approach has been more one of gradual downshifting as we adapt to an ever changing set of circumstances- looking back the process started in 1993 when we decided that we wanted to buy a house but not increase our then mortgage. This we achieved by saving a 25% deposit in three years and moving to our modest mud hut in 1996. We paid off our mortgage in full in 2011. Our incomes have plummeted from the days when Mr GBT paid top whack tax [both our jobs came to an end via redundancy] but so too have our needs. My life probably looks rather dull from the outside but I feel I live a very rich life now it's pared back to the things that really matter to me. I am by nature a tinkerer so love making a few pots of home preserves, a spot of knitting, recycling items for craft projects, waste not want not, make do and mend- that's me. What I don't hanker after is keeping chickens or the self sufficiency approach- I know my limitations too well!. That's what's so fab about the quiet revolution- there's room for everyone to change their lives in their own personal ways so it reflects their aspirations. My personal approach is to enjoy myself as much as possible and not to be hairshirted. No one likes a martyr!

The following tale "Revolution" sums it all up for me!

A rich businessman while on holiday in a foreign land approaches a local fisherman who is relaxing next to his boat watching the waves gently rustle up the shore.

"Why aren't you out there working?" he asks the man.

"Because I have already caught enough fish for the day" the fisherman replies.

"But if you were out there fishing now you could sell all the fish you catch and make extra money" urges the foreign businessman. "You could save up the extra money you earn and buy another boat. Keep on working like that and soon you could own a whole fleet of boats and start up a business in international trade."

"And why would I want to do that?" asked the fisherman, barely looking up from the brim of his straw hat.

"So that you could become rich enough like me to be able to sit back and enjoy life."

"But what" replied the fisherman "do you think I am doing now?"



  1. Love this post :)
    Off to visit moneyless manifesto !
    Have a good weekend

  2. Thanks for you comment Retro Wren- hope you have a good thrifty weekend too!


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