Saturday, 4 September 2010

In defence of frugality (Part 1 of 7)

Defending poverty as virtue lacks credibility unless the preacher himself is destitute, healthy, and happy. That phenomenon is so rare that few men attempt to imitate it. Monks living in monasteries in Italy or France do live in relative poverty, although their situation cannot be compared to the extreme indigence of the population in some African countries.

While poverty seems an unattractive lifestyle to most individuals, frugality is increasingly gaining ground. The idea of making more with less resources appeals to those concerned with ethical questions. The personal freedom that ensues from thoughtful consumption possesses the charms of a sound philosophy and the practicality of immediate benefits.

It is unfortunate that the issue of cost reduction does not cross the mind of most people when times are good. Frugality, as a lifestyle choice, generates its greatest advantages precisely during favourable periods when saving seems superfluous, worry unnecessary, and modesty redundant.

To be continued in Part 2


[Image by Gilles Gonthier under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under]

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