I recently rediscovered Johnny Cash’s version of “Satisfied Mind,” which was made famous a few years ago in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume 2 (in the scene where Michael Madsen’s “Budd” is about to shoot Uma Thurman’s “The Bride,” as she hunts him in his trailer).
While made famous by Cash, it was originally written and performed by Red Hayes (with Jack Rhodes), after Hayes’ father-in-law suggested to him that “the richest man in the world … is the man with a satisfied mind.”
In this way, the song does a great job of speaking to the temptations, and limitations, of material wealth. And its lyrics remind me of this quote from John Heider’s The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age (yes, today’s post will include thoughts on New Age philosophy as related to Johnny Cash):
“There is a problem with owning a lot. There is a problem with getting more and more. The more you have and the more you get, the more you have to look after. The more you might lose. Is that owning or being owned?” (#44 on linked page) Continue reading
The other day, walking around downtown, I came upon these small flyers about something called “the 3/50 project.” At the top of the flyers it reads “Save your local economy… three stores at a time.” (Italics theirs.) (I always wanted to write that.) The project’s motto is “Saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.”
Living in Western Massachusetts, where we’re constantly urged to “be a local hero,” I’m not unfamiliar with the adage of shopping locally, and the economic and ecological reasons for doing so. But this flyer indicated an effort, a group, that was organizing the effort.
Pick 3 independently-owned businesses in your area. Dedicate yourself to supporting their bottom line. Try to spend at least $50 each month in each store/restaurant/whatever. “If just half the employed U.S. population spent $50 dollars each month in independently owned businesses, their purchases would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.” Why do this? (Other than being nice and neighborly, of course.) “For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures.”
Huh. Nice. Continue reading
“Money is like heroin, and I grew up in a neighborhood that was destroyed by heroin. I’ve watched addiction all my life. Celebrity is like heroin. And constant praise is like heroin. And, you know, no one can resist constant praise.” – John Patrick Shanley
I have a confession: I’m addicted to simplification. The allure of getting rid of what you don’t need, using everything you have, and (of course, the big one, the condition that separates the practice of simplification from the reality of impoverishment) having everything you need.
It’s like that old Nissan XTerra commercial: “Everything you need. Nothing you don’t.”
How fabulous. How enticing. The illusion of simplification. The oversimplification of simplify.
But simple ideas can come in complicated packages. Not unlike a Nissan XTerra, or its advertising budget. Or Real Simple, a monthly publication devoted to a “life made easier” (their tagline), while being printed on nearly 200 pages, and having a masthead that lists over 100 people. Sort of not that simple, really.
Still, the girth of Real Simple notwithstanding, each issue usually contains an article, or list, or suggestion or quote, about simplifying, that is worth pondering for a bit. This month’s cover teases we wannabe simplifiers with a piece advertised as “the clutter cure: expert advice for pairing down.” So I immediately turned to page 124 and began reading away, eager to breathe easier, be more relaxed, and live more simply. Continue reading
Need some paper, staples, or pink, square, sticky-notes, but don’t want to stress about supporting a (dreaded) big box store? Look no further, Give Something Back Office Supplies is here!
As our friends over at Bolder Giving noted via their recent Facebook post, “Some businesses aim for more than just the bottom line.” Every year, office supply store Give Something Back “donates their profits to the causes that their customers vote for … sometimes donating as much as 75% of profits!”
“Over 19 years, Give Something Back has donated almost $5 million dollars in profits back to amazing nonprofits,” their website proudly proclaims.
Sound crazy? Check it out for yourself, buy a highlighter or two, and vote for the non-profit organization you most want to support.
Democratic consumerism, ethical business practices, and sustainably-funded non-profits. Oh my!
affluent ANGST is back! And slower than ever!
The internet is so seductively fast. So regrettably immediate. Blogs instantly published the world over with the press of a button (to those with internet capabilities, of course). What about deliberation? What about sauntering? Where are the slow blogs?
So here’s my first post in nearly two months. Take that, internet age!
Why has this post taken so long to write? Because I’ve been reading Carl Honore’s recent (2004) manifesto In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed.
“The cult of speed.” I like that.
Of course, actually, that’s not quite right. I read the book over a year ago. But given its subject matter, it feels like I just read it. And, while I enjoyed the entire book, I was particularly struck with the two chapters that deal with those logistical twins of the time-space continuum: work and leisure. Continue reading